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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Foodborne Illness in America – A Cost of $152 Billion Yearly

A few months ago I posted, “The only thing the President missed tonight in the Health Care Speech – Real Health Care Reform Requires Safe Food,” where I argued that fixing the problem of safe food in our country would lead to lower medical costs. Well, it seems that I was about $152 Billion – that is Billion – correct. Read the full report – click below:

The Produce Safety Project at Georgetown University seeks the establishment by the Food and Drug Administration of mandatory and enforceable safety standards for domestic and imported fresh produce, from farm to fork. Our families need to have confidence that federal food-safety regulation is based on prevention, scientifically sound risk assessment and management, and coordinated, integrated data collection.

Interestingly, I gave a speech last Spring in England – "William D. Marler, Esquire – Speech Before the House of Lords dinner – How one Peanut Company caused $1.5 Billion in Losses."  It is not just the loses suffered by the ill, but the costs to businesses associated with an outbreak and recall that should get people’s attention.

Bill Marler, a well-known food-safety attorney based in Seattle, told CIDRAP News today that the new cost analysis does a good job drilling down to the health and personal injury toll of foodborne illness outbreaks, but added that food safety officials and legislators should realize the enormity of business losses in the wake of such outbreaks.

He said from his experience, the personal injury cost is relatively small when compared with the financial damages the businesses and industries incur. He cited recent examples involving contaminated peanuts, spinach, and tomatoes.

He estimated that economic damage to businesses is eight- to tenfold greater than the personal injury costs, adding that the number would be "overwhelmingly stunning."