(NaturalNews) A recent report issued by several consumer and public health groups has found that foodborne illness costs the U.S. about $152 billion a year in health-related expenses. Prior estimates were much lower, and the groups are using this new figure to push even harder for an overhaul of the nation's food safety system.
Many people agree that the U.S. food system needs an overhaul, but not everyone agrees on what type of an overhaul. The current thrust by groups like the Make Our Food Safe Coalition and the Produce Safety Project is to give the FDA more power and funds to regulate the food supply in the hopes that food will become safer, a notion for which many in the natural health world object.
Last July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2749, the Food Safety Enhancement Act of 2009, and this year, the Senate is expected to produce and vote on a similar bill of its own very soon. These bills are the response to the outcry for increased food safety, but they are far more sinister than they appear.
In a nutshell, the House bill drastically expands the FDA's power over food to the point that every small, family farm, and even the backyard gardener, is threatened by FDA encroachment. Under the bill, new regulations and fees will be imposed upon all food "operations", including small farms that act responsibly, with no differentiation between the size of operations.
The FDA will also have control over every aspect of food, from the farm to the fork, and individuals will be forced to comply with any arbitrary rules that the agency may decide are necessary to ensure "food safety".
Rather than address food safety problems by going after the true culprits – filthy factory farms that harbor and spread disease – consumer and public safety groups are begging for more FDA power. Not only is the FDA inept at properly regulating, but the rogue agency regularly targets the good guys while protecting the bad guys.
So where is all of this going? Well, if these groups get their way and the FDA is handed over the reigns of the nation's food supply, it will not be long before all fresh food is irradiated or treated in some way to kill the purported pathogens that are allegedly threatening the lives of Americans. The FDA's response to food safety will be to irradiate and pasteurize all food, not to go after the perpetrators of food contamination.
It is difficult to ascertain why the mainstream public and the groups that claim to represent it are unable to grasp this concept and recognize the dangers in expanded federal control over food. If something is corrupt and broken, it is foolish to throw more money and power at it.