Header graphic for print
Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Food Safety in the Age of Obama

Screen shot 2011-01-25 at 8.29.31 PM.pngI waited for the call after Christmas to come to the signing ceremony after the passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, but it did not come.  Frankly, it still seems odd that the President would miss an opportunity to showcase the first major piece of food safety legislation in over 50 years.

This is all the President said about food safety in his speech tonight:

To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I’ve ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them. But I will not hesitate to create or enforce commonsense safeguards to protect the American people. That’s what we’ve done in this country for more than a century. It’s why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is safe to breathe. It’s why we have speed limits and child labor laws. It’s why last year, we put in place consumer protections against hidden fees and penalties by credit card companies, and new rules to prevent another financial crisis. And it’s why we passed reform that finally prevents the health insurance industry from exploiting patients.

With the CDC estimated 48,000,00 American’s sickened, 125,000 hospitalized and 3,000 deaths, it would seem that the President would make food safety a bit more of a front and center issue.

  • Gabrielle Meunier

    I think the Food Safety Bill had troubles with passage because it was seen as adding to the big bad government! I have to wonder if the Obama administration did not make a public signing of the Bill because of the Naysayers criticizing that it will just create more government. I’m not sure, but I for one feel the President missed an opportunity to glorify a Bill with a public signing, that was primarily bi-partisan for most of its passage. I do feel however, in the passage you quote from his Address tonight, that he is subliminally making a case FOR government regulations and thus for new regulaltions to do with Food Safety.

  • According to Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and other Fox news stars, the government wants to tell us what food we can put in our mouths. They make that leap from the real fact, which is that no government should permit unsanitary conditions in its food processing industry. Unfortunately, they have listeners to whom their view of reality makes sense.
    Never mind that children can’t understand the concepts of raw animal products, contaminated produce, or cleanliness in mass food producing corporations.
    Maybe if we each had our own cow and our own garden, we then would be accustomed to our own bugs, including local immunity.
    Unfortunately, or fortunately, we are now a global community, and we can’t possibly expect to have immunity to organisms that originate outside our own backyard, let alone another part of the world.
    Yes, I was very disappointed in Obama’s omission of food safety from his speech. Our food is NOT particularly safe to eat, and it is a “buyer beware” world. I think Glenn Beck would be a good test subject for hemolytic uremic syndrome to see how much contamination of our foods the human body can withstand.

  • Lauren Wallick

    If our food is so safe, why is Linda Rivera still suffering a year and a half later? Why do I still have issues from the past? I believed our food was “safe” and I learned that was a big mistake! All I can say is thank you Bill for all you have done and continue to do to hold people accountable and try to make things better.

  • And blaming giant processors for the output of CAFOs being unhealthy is too oversimplify systemic malaise.