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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Bush backs tougher product safety measures

WOW – what a headline. I almost dropped my laptop as I read CNN MONEY last evening. According to the CNN report, President Bush said he backed tougher product safety measures that would give mandatory recall authority to the Food and Drug Administration and increase penalties on companies that import unsafe products into the United States. However, let’s be honest, although the media hype has warned us against the risk of evil “imported food,” guess how many food poisoning cases I have done out of thousands in 15 years that involved imported food – a handful. The reality is the nearly every major foodborne illness outbreak has been “home grown.” USA food companies do a great job of poisoning fellow countrymen – 76,000,000 a year according to the CDC.

As for recall authority, is it really real?  Will it apply to US companies and domestic products?  As the President said:

"The FDA will be empowered to order a recall when a company refuses to recall their product voluntarily, or moves too slowly in removing an unsafe product from the market," he said. "With this authority, the FDA will be in a position to act quickly when the problem occurs."

Hmmm, how exactly does this differ from the system we have now? What about recalls of domestically produced poisoned products?  Well, let’s see what happens with this all gets in front of Congress and the hordes of lobbyists.