Thursday, March 7, 2013


Blaming politicians for all the woes in a democratic system of governance is too common in many countries. Here is a difference when it comes to understanding the food safety problems in a country like America where a congress woman has comprehended the underlying issue that is responsible for countless episodes of food poisoning in that country. Here is her statement which deserves serious consideration by the Obama administration.

"Given the sheer number of foodborne illnesses and outbreaks, it is no surprise that federal oversight of food safety continues to be included on the GAO's list of high risk areas. You need to look no further than the current Salmonella outbreak that has sickened 18 people in five states to know that food safety deserves to be on this list and it is time for Congress to act. Since the GAO first added food safety to the list of high risk areas in 2007, they have highlighted the fragmented oversight of food safety and recommended the establishment of a government-wide plan to address this critical problem. That plan remains elusive. "The fragmented nature of our federal food safety system is well established and underscores the need for a single food safety agency. Right now there is not one single person in charge and that puts us all at risk of getting sick from preventable illnesses. I will again introduce legislation to establish a single food safety agency, which would ensure that there is one person the public can hold accountable when outbreaks occur. "Given the clear need to reorganize our food safety system to protect the public health, this bill is absolutely necessary. It will ensure a coordinated strategy for preventing and responding to foodborne illnesses. And it will go a long way to addressing the shortcomings identified yet again by the GAO that place Americans' health at risk."

Of course one of the main reasons for the pitiable state of affairs vis-a-vis food safety in the US is the vice-like grip the industry majors have on the elected representatives who are obliged to the former because of liberal donations to their election campaign. One may recall the recent failure of an innocuous proposal in the California ballot initiative to label GM foods which was defeated by the sheer money power of the GM food industry! Unless consumers get themselves free from countless allurements offered by the industry in sabotaging honest proposals like the above, nothing substantial is going to happen in that country in the food safety landscape and food poisoning episodes will continue to occur with sickening regularity. Citizens must unite to pressurize their elected representatives to safeguard their interests through sound legislation in stead of succumbing to the money power of the industry!


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