The Food Safety Modernization Act: What will really change?

Now that President Obama has signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law, I am thinking about how we got into this mess with the safety of our food system in the first place.  In America, we spend billions of dollars on homeland security, which claims to keep us safe from people that live thousands of miles away and may never act out terrorist threats.  Right here at home, we have no threat level warning system for the food supply, the foods that we put into our bodies daily.  Safety is a top priority for most Americans, and can be the difference between life and death.  As food has the power to make us sick and kill us, we hope and believe the government protects us from these risks, but we are wrong. How did a country as developed as ours create a food supply that is poorly managed and regulated?  Now that we have the Food Safety Bill, what changes will really come? As soon as the bill was signed, the talk turned to funding.  Where will the 1.4 billion dollars needed come from?  As Republicans take control of the house, it does not look like this question will be answered anytime soon.

It will be interesting to see how this bill progresses.  Not only in the funding sense, but also the changes in our food supply.  Will we notice fewer foodborne illness outbreaks in the next year?  Will melamine and other contamination coming from international imports be a topic of the past?  I am going to continue to blog about this topic over the next year, and hope my next post will be positive.

Rachel RothmanComment