food

Mainstream media agrees that food safety bill will do nothing to improve food safety

Saturday, December 11, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: food safety, FDA, health news

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(NaturalNews) A recent editorial in Forbes magazine online slams the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) "Food Safety Modernization Act" for being a huge waste of taxpayer money, and an effort that will do absolutely nothing to actually improve food safety. What it will do, says the article, is run small- and medium-sized food operations out of business, raise food prices, and essentially give the FDA unlimited power over the food supply.

NaturalNews has been covering the progress of S. 510 -- which eventually morphed into an amendment attached to H.R. 3082 -- for quite some time now. The bill is steadily shuffling its way back through the Senate after being given the "blue slip" by the House for violating protocols concerning the origination of new tax laws (http://www.naturalnews.com/030588_Food_Safet...). But now some in the mainstream media have actually come out and agreed that the bill is a serious threat to food freedom.

According to the Forbes report, the provisions in the bill will, in fact, do all the terrible things that health advocates for months have been saying it would do. There will be massive new spending on inspections that will do little, if anything, to improve food safety. Visual inspections, after all, do not actually detect dangerous microbes or conclusively identify potential contamination problems. And they rely on each facility's own inspection reports, which most likely are lacking at the facilities that have contamination problems in the first place.

The bill also expands the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) rules to apply to all food producers. The HACCP system encourages producers to identify areas where harmful contaminants may be entering the production system and come up with solutions to solve them. But in reality, the protocols are largely antiquated, expensive for smaller producers, and ineffective.

The worst aspect of HACCP is that it applies the same regulatory burdens on small producers that it does large producers. And since many large producers already voluntarily employ HACCP -- the same ones that are producing tainted food that ends up being recalled, by the way -- the requirement will only hurt the smaller producers that are actually producing safe food.

The bill also massively increases FDA control and power over the food supply. Such power includes the new ability to mandate recalls instead of recommend them, even when the products in question may not actually be tainted. And knowing how the FDA already treats natural food and supplement producers, it is clear how easily this power will likely be abused against the natural health community.

There is still time to help fight the bill from being passed along with H.R. 3082. The Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund has created an "action" page through which you can contact your Senators to oppose cloture on H.R. 3082, and any form of the Food Safety Modernization Act that tries to make its way through for approval:
http://www.ftcldf.org/petitions/pnum1061.php

You can also call your Senators to continue urging them to oppose the bill. Just contact the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your state Senators.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.forbes.com/2010/12/02/fda-regulat...

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