They say good things come to those who wait, but this is kind of ridiculous. They also say you are what you eat. And with the junk that’s being passed off as food these days, it’s scary to think what the world will be like if things go unchecked.
Luckily, today the Senate passed the first major legislation to strengthen food safety protections in 70 years.
The bill passed with a 73-25 vote, but before it becomes law, the bill will need to be sent to the House for approval.
Senator Tom Harkin, an Iowa Democrat who chairs the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Workforce Committee said of the bill, “The Food Safety Modernization Act will bring America’s food safety system into the 21st century.
So, what does this mean for small farmers?
To help pass the bill, senators negotiated that smaller farms be exempt from some of the law’s requirements. A smaller farm was defined in the legislation as a food producer who sells their goods within 275 miles of their facilities and earns less than $500,000 per year. Additionally, proposals to ban the use of BPA, a toxin found in many plastics used in food manufacturing, were thwarted.
Proponents of food safety reform feel that the bill didn’t go far enough to protect consumers from the evils of the food industry; while others feel that food safety legislation is pointless due to food safety law’s tendency to lull (and lie to) consumers.
According to the Huffington Post: While America has one of the safest and most abundant food supplies in the world, each year one in four people are sickened by food-borne illness and as many as 5,000 people die from food poisoning.
Whether or not the legislation will improve food safety in America is yet to be seen. Let’s hope so, for the safety of our children.
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