Not exactly fresh out of committee, but out of committee nonetheless, senate bill 510 (a/k/a the Food Safety Modernization Act) makes its way to the senate floor soon, possibly this week. The full senate debate and subsequent vote is certainly timely, as just today Michael Moss was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for his story on Stephanie Smiths E. coli O157:H7 illness and Linda Rivera’s long-awaited emergence from a Nevada hospital where she has spent almost a year after also being infected by E. coli O157:H7. Stephanie was sickened by a hamburger made by Cargill, and Linda by contaminated cookie dough made by Nestle.
The Food Safety Modernization Act is truly an important piece of legislation, in that it affects every citizen of this country, and even some abroad, on a daily basis. The bill substantially modifies the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetics Act, and generally gives the Food and Drug Administration better authority and ability to monitor the safety of our food supply, and take quicker and more effective action for food companies that don’t adequately protect against foodpoisoning risks.
Among other, more specific, things, the Food Safety Modernization Act: