It is time politicians take notice – a recent poll found:

  • Nearly half (46 percent) of consumers have changed their eating and buying habits in the past six months because they’re afraid they could get sick by eating contaminated food.
  • An overwhelming number (80 percent) support setting up a better system to trace produce in an outbreak back to the source, the poll found.
  • Three in four people remain confident about the overall safety of food.
  • The survey found gender, racial and economic gaps on attitudes about food safety. Women, who do most of the shopping, were more concerned than men. For example, 39 percent of men said they were "very confident" that the food they buy is safe, but only 23 percent of women said they felt that way. However, men and women agreed on the need for better federal oversight.
  • 80 percent of Americans would support new federal standards for fresh produce.
  • 86 percent said produce should be labeled so it can be tracked through layers of processors, packers and shippers, all the way back to the farm.

Well at least “The Haphazard Gourmet Girls” are paying attention:  "Bill Marler: The Avenging Angel Of The Chowpocalypse:"

Once again, Bill Marler, the leading genius watchdog of the Food Industrial Complex and an incredibly even-handed analyst, parses the where, how & why of contamination outbreaks with an excellent summation of E. coli issues.

And, the “Food Law Guy:”  Improving Food Safety: Insights from Intensive Care

Paraphrasing Tom Sawyer, a person who takes a bull by the tail once, learns sixty or seventy times more than a person who hasn’t.  Perhaps no one has seen the inside of as many intensive care units for foodborne illness as Bill Marler.  Gain some of Marler’s insight on improving food safety by reading his latest commentary, “E. coli O157:H7 is a powerful and deadly bacterium.”

“You cannot see it, taste it, or smell it. 250,000 E. coli O157:H7 (E. coli) bacteria will fit on the head of a pin. Ten to 50 will kill your child or your grandmother."

And, the “Food Snark:”  Bill Marler, Food Czar, Cries Out (Again)

Some lawyers want better BMWs, food poisoning lawyer Bill Marler wants to see fewer kids die from E. coli O157:H7.  He does everything he can to raise awareness of the powerful deadly bacteria in hope to see fewer kids lose their kidneys, even when that means driving around in an ugly VW bug with ECOLI on his license plates and taking shit from Tort Deformists who have dubbed him an ambulance chaser.

I’ve called Bill Marler “Batman” for a while now, partially because he could use a bat-plane for all the traveling he does, but also because he truly is a superhero to the children whose lives would be lost without him.  However, I think it’s about time to upgrade him to Food Czar, because he’s already king of the industry, and he’d look good in a crown.

Honestly, Bill Marler is the only lawyer I know who works so hard every day to try to put himself out of business.

And, Jane Genova of “Law and More:”

… I don’t hear a peep from presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain about making sure what children wind up putting in their mouths is safe – whether that’s food, milk, or a toy imported from China. Is it true, as the article in FORTUNE by Marc Gunther claims, that government is increasingly less in the loop on consumer safety issues? Replacing it, documents Gunther, are the new watchdogs: Industry, plaintiff lawyers, and citizen activists….

I envision a cabinet-level position. We can call its head The Food Safety Czar. Right now the best-qualified pro in that field seems to be Bill Marler of Marler Clark. Google his name and you’ll see what I mean. Or you can read some of the testimony he delivered on Capitol Hill – Download Testimony here.

And, the Food Law Prof Blog, “Food Czar Bill Marler on E. coli and Food Safety”

And, the Fanatic Cook, "For His Work In Food Safety, Bill Marler Deserves A Spot In The Next Administration"

There are times when a man would do well to win a certain job. And there are times when a job would do well to win a certain man.

The job of Food Safety Czar in this country would do well to win Bill Marler.

This country does not currently have a Food Safety Czar. It needs one. Someone to cut through the muck that swaddles numerous, discrete food-related government agencies. Someone with a history of going to bat for consumers, a successful history. Someone with a tireless passion for this work.

To the next President: If you intend to make food safety a priority, you’ll want Bill Marler in your cabinet.

Efoodalert weighs inI propose that the next President form an independent Food Safety Commission. The Commission should be non-political (as opposed to by-partisan), and should receive testimony, briefs and proposals from industry, academia, consumers and regulators. The mandate should include:

1. Determine a current estimate of food-borne disease in the United States;
2. Recommend improvements to the current methods for reporting illnesses and detecting incipient outbreaks;
3. Review the present US food safety regulatory structure and compare its effectiveness with food safety regulatory structures adopted by other countries; and
4. Propose a new US food safety regulatory structure designed to respond more effectively to the current state of the US domestic and imported food supply.

It is vital that such a Commission be headed by an individual who does not owe loyalty to industry, regulators, or lobbying organizations. An individual who has no political axe to grind. An individual whose primary goal is to do whatever it takes to improve the safety of the country’s food supply.

Bill Marler, are you listening?

Loud and clear.