Will proposed food safety bill mean fewer sick people? Doubtful

Apparently I’m alone in thinking the proposed food safety legislation won’t make much of a difference – especially in terms of sick people.

While tomorrow’s USA Today gushes in a headline courtesy of a so-called consumer group that “Proposed food safety bill good for ‘everyone who eats,’” for me, it all just sounds like “The old Potomac two-step, Jack."??

"I’m sorry, Mr. President, I don’t dance."??

That’s what Jack Ryan as played by Harrison Ford said in the movie, Clear and Present Danger. And that’s why I repeatedly ignore what comes out of Washington.

The $1.4 billion food safety bill, which would give the Food and Drug Administration broader powers to inspect processing plants and recall tainted products, cleared a procedural hurdle in the Senate, setting it up as a top measure for Congress to address in its year-end session.

What I told ABC News was this:

"Government sets minimal standards, which the best food producers, processors and retailers exceed daily, while talking heads blather. There are bad players in the system, which government is supposed to catch, but given the pervasive food safety outbreaks over the past 20 years, they don’t seem very good at it. Will the new bill mean fewer sick people? Doubtful."

Dr. Douglas Powell, associate professor, Kansas State University

ABC also asked a bunch of other food policy types, and they all agreed, one way or another, that passage of the bill was important.

It’s not that important. Dance?

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of barfblog.com, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, barfblog.com retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 dpowell29@gmail.com 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time