Erika Bolstad of the McClatchy Newspapers likely has me in trouble with my democratic friends with her article today: “As food recalls mount, White House still lingering over new safety rules.” Here is the gist of her story:
Families who’ve lost loved ones to food-borne illnesses have watched with alarm in recent months as producers have recalled mangoes, cantaloupe, ricotta cheese, dog food and peanut butter after people were sickened by the tainted goods. A landmark food safety law passed nearly two years ago was supposed to help curtail such outbreaks. But the Obama administration has yet to issue the final rules that will give the Food and Drug Administration more authority over food producers.
Here is where I insert foot:
Bill Marler, a prominent food safety lawyer from Seattle who has filed lawsuits on behalf of victims in outbreaks, including one against Sunland and Trader Joe’s in the most recent peanut butter outbreak, said he, too, has some concerns about funding.
“You’re going to have these really cool rules, but no way to enforce them,” he said.
Marler, a major Democratic political donor who said he and his family gave and helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Obama campaign in 2008, has been so disappointed with the administration’s slow pace that he hasn’t donated to the campaign this year.
“I certainly don’t want Mitt Romney to be our president, but on the other hand, I always look at food safety as the incredibly low-hanging fruit in terms of doing something positive,” he said.