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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation
  • James Mack

    Great news Bill. Your insistence is paying off especially since the system is wanting to focus on your work to drum up support against the measure. This is a back-handed compliment no doubt.

  • Bill Anderson

    Your continued insistance on passing this bill is very self-serving, Mr. Marler. It would only make more money for you, as more and more people get sick from the increasing consolidation and industrialization of our food supply.
    For an informed and thorough analysis of the bill, see this article from Attorney Pete Kennedy of the Farm-to-Consumer Legal defense fund, which defends small scale organic and sustainable farms against government regulators beholden to corporate interests.
    S510 Revised:
    FDA Coming to a Farm Near You
    By Pete Kennedy, Esq. | September 23, 2010
    More than ever S510 represents a major threat to the local food movement, states’ autonomy to regulate food, and the country’s ability to become self-sufficient in food production.
    On August 12 the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee released the manager’s package for S510”, a revised version of the “FDA Food Safety Modernization Act that is 77 pages longer than the version of S510 that passed out of the HELP Committee last November.

  • Jim Schmidt

    Mr. Anderson I’m not going to go into your post/diatribe because it is quite obvious you do not see the big picture. I’m not a supporter of large food industry nor a supporter of small food industry.

    Now I might have gotten lucky, but so far in my career all the foodborne illness investigations I have conducted were not attributed to a recalled product. Usually it was poor sanitation/hygeine practice at the small restaurant.

    Whenever money is involved you risk people becoming greedy and skipping steps or not following well established food handling practices just to make an extra buck. It doesn’t have to be big or small business.

    What has to stop are people claiming that my next door neighbor would never give me bad food and this is what is happening with the small scale food business. I want consumers to cook food to proper temperatures, I don’t want them lulled into some sense of food safety nirvana “I can eat hamburgers rare because it is grass fed organic beef”. Please, stop the rhetoric.

  • Bill Anderson

    I am eating raw steak tartare right now, and it is from a diversified farm that is certified organic, 100% grass fed, with mineralized balanced pasture to produce the highest quality nutrient dense forage for the animals, and as a result the highest quality meat and milk. The steak tartare is garnished with raw, living, lacto-fermented pickle and carrots.
    I am not afraid in the least of eating this raw meat. Why? Because the ecology of the whole farm system has a huge impact on food safety and the microbiological makeup of the food items. Most conventional and even much organic food produced in the U.S. needs to be steralized to be safe. That is only because our agricultural practices are so poor. We value producing large quanitites of a few cheap durable commodities that are utterly devoid of nutritional value, rather than producing a diversity of high quality nutrient dense foods.
    I would agree that not all small-scale producers and food handlers are good, and not all big or medium sized ones are bad. It all has to do with their practices. There are plenty of small farms that follow poor practices, and there are even a few big farms that follow healthy sustainable practices.
    So the question before us is: Do we intend to encourage the good practices? Do we support biologically active, bio-diverse, properly mineralized, and healthy sustainable agricultural practices? Or do we continue down the route of authoritarianism, sterility, chemical intensive monocultures, and increasing corporate control, increasing illness both chronic and acute, and decreasing health, nutrition, democracy, and freedom?
    Jim, you totally failed to address any of the points that Pete Kennedy raised in his article. I don’t doubt what you say about your personal experience investigating food borne illness. But the issue at hand here is whether the FDA , which is clearly in the pocket of big bussiness, needs to be given even more power to stifle and oppress sustainable agriculture?
    From what I can tell, this legislation has absolutely nothing to do with food safety, and everything to do with increasing corporate and government control of our food choices. Pete Kennedy lays out the legal issues with clarity and detail which remains unchallenged from the likes of Bill Marler and yourself.
    Why do you support this legislation, Jim and Bill? Please be specific. How will it improve food safety in America? It is clear that our food system is terribly broken and our collective health and the health of the next generation has suffered as a result. More of the same is not a solution.

  • Michael Bulger

    And yet, S. 510 with its improved traceability, will allow more contaminated products to be pulled from the market before they make anyone sick.
    Someone sees better traceability as a way for people to file lawsuits, not prevent illnesses.

  • Doc Mudd

    Traceability adds a measure of accountability that makes blustering, self-styled ‘healthy food’ purveyors visibly uncomfortable. Scofflaws terrified of being exposed as dangerous fakers and made to clean up, pay up. Oherwise, why all the fuss?
    Food safety & S.510 – trust but verify – now, that’s the smart way to “know your farmer”.

  • thanks for this article, good continuation

  • Thank you for sharing