4 Very Scary Facts About Your Food


beef380 million: The number of eggs in Colorado, California, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, and Wisconsin recalled by Wright County Egg Farms this August due to possible salmonella contamination.

143 million: Pounds of ground beef recalled from Westland Meat in 2008 because the company let sick animals into their system.

$152 million: How much the US spends on food-related illnesses each year.

1809: Estimated number of people who die from food pathogen-related illnesses each year according to Centers for Disease Control.

This is why we were long overdue for new food safety regulation -- because apparently these companies are not run by grown ups. Hello 2010 Food Safety Modernization bill! I'm glad you're here.

The Senate passed the Food Safety bill just this Tuesday. The bill has sent the usual small government folks howling: Oh no, not more regulation!

OH YES! More regulation, whiners, more delicious regulation.

Someday, when the majority of our food is produced by responsible adults instead of by a pack of profit-hungry wolves, we won't need no regulation. Until then, the yahoos need some rules.

Here's what the new food safety bill will give us:

  1. Mandatory food recalls: Instead of waiting for food companies to have the good sense to voluntarily recall their food (which they always do too late), the FDA can order a food recall.
  2. The largest food companies have to register with the FDA and show their food safety plans.
  3. FDA will create new safety rules for produce.
  4. CDC and State Health Departments will coordinate food illness surveillance -- this means better tracking and record keeping so people like Senator Coburn have less wiggle-room for lying through a Senate hearing. (Ten food-related deaths a year? Seriously?!?)
  5. Enact stricter safety standards for imported food. Remember melamine from China?
  6. Increase the number of inspections of food plants, especially at high-risk plants.

Small producers will be exempt from these new federal regulations. And if you've heard the rumor about seed saving, yes: Seed saving will still be legal but it will be more difficult for farms. That does suck. It's not a perfect bill.

Of course, the bill still may not see the light of day. It has to be reconciled by the House before it goes to the White House to get signed, and thanks to some cockamamie technicality, it could still die. A new day for food safety or back to business as usual? We'll soon see.


Image via ilovebutter/Flickr

food, food safety


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squish squish

The problem with things like this is that the big companies usually find ways around them, lobby them to death, and kill the little guy. They are making it harder to save seeds? Holy crap! It is already extremely difficult! That unethical practice alone has caused a lot of problems for a lot of honest hard working farmers.

What I want to know is when the trespassing of modified seeds onto farmers land who DID NOT WANT THEM THERE will be allowed to be prosecuted, instead of what is happening now, where those very farmers are accused of violating patent rights. SOME of this bill may have good intentions, but good intentions alone do not solve any problems.

Check out: Food, Inc., The Future of Food, and King Corn. Netflix has them on streaming.  

Adria... AdrianaCooks

Squish, I totally hear you about GMO seeds contaminating neighboring fields, not to mention what a certain seed company in St. Louis does to farmer who try to save seeds. It's a dangerous, f@$&ed-up situation.

nonmember avatar Gabby

You should check out who is sponsoring this 'Food' bill....
Also check these "FACTS" out on the proposed bill...
Top ten lies about Senate Bill 510
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor / December 1, 2010(NaturalNews)

nonmember avatar Gabby

Here's the link on the Food bill: http://www.naturalnews.com/030565_Food_Safety_S_510.html

lovin... lovinangels

I'm guessing you've actually read the bill, not just the Democratic talking points that go with it? Right...Right...Right...?


CoeyG CoeyG

How about actually learning and paying attention to where our food comes from to begin with?  You're not going to have healthy lifestock if you pen them up so tightly that they eat, sleep and shit in the same spot their entire lives.  If you ate your own shit everyday you wouldn't be healthy either.  DUH

LindA... LindAngeLevi

This bill will make it hard for small farms to function they are trying to get organic farmers out of the business. Look at who is pushing the bill! Why would we give up our rights for protection? They drill us with fear so they can take away our rights without us even knowing it. I don't trust the FDA. It is on a public record that they said Americans don't have a right to what foods they have access to or their physical health. I saw something like that on a web site.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Please educate yourself before writing something like this - your article is nothing but ignorance from the first word to the last period.  Read or watch Food Inc., read the Omnivore's Dilemma, and maybe, actually, read the bill you applaud so heartily as a good thing.

Paul Maher

Yes the FDA has done such a wonderful job with drug safety let's expand their powers over food. They'll set those Amish dairy farmers straight. There is a write-up on this at the Health Journal Club which takes a different tack.
"Enter Senate Bill S510 the Food Safety and Modernization Act, a phrase of government newspeak which should make the hair stand up on the back of any thinking creature's neck. We don't need our food supply "modernized" by legislation passed to the whims of the likes of Monsanto, Cargill or the rest of the cloned, transgenic, pesticide, terminator seed, processed, commercial food oligopoly pushers."

clean... cleanaturalady

I haven't read the whole bill, so I am not going to comment on that per se, I will just say that it is DEregulation that has gotten us into the pickle we find ourselves in today.  People cry foul about not wanting to be controlled by big government, yet they think it is fine for our country to be controlled by a few big businesses.  Whoever it is that has the power needs to be accountable.

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