New Food Safety Law is Vital

Articles
August 26, 2010

New Food Safety Law is Vital

The food safety bill hatching in the nation’s capitol is long overdue and absolutely warranted, in our view at The Lempert Report.

The food safety bill hatching in the nation’s capitol is long overdue and absolutely warranted, in our view at The Lempert Report.  

Critics who say Congress is being opportunistic by leveraging the current egg salmonella crisis to help push the bill into law, perhaps as quickly as September, are off base.  For too many years, the federal government and consumers have patiently urged the food industry to self-police. It’s been like waiting for the Katzenjammer Kids to grow up and respect the needs of others.

How many scares do we need that shake consumer confidence in the food supply? How many illnesses or deaths have to occur before the food industry tightens its practices? There are worse offenders globally than any of the most laggard U.S.-based food suppliers - but being relatively good sets the bar too low. America deserves better, especially since better is well within industry capabilities.

Food safety must be prominent every step of the way, from farm to table, in our view. Details of S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which passed the House of Representatives last year and has languished in the Senate, would increase inspections on a risk-based approach and give FDA: new resources, the authority to shutter a plant that poses health dangers, and prompt recall power of suspected foods.  It would also require all food companies to develop a food safety plan, and it would improve the safety of imported foods and food ingredients.

The Lempert Report is gratified to see Grocery Manufacturers Association President and CEO Pamela Bailey endorse “making prevention the focus of our food safety strategies,” and urge the Senate to schedule a vote on the bill.

Never mind ruffled feathers. Let’s pass this bill into law.