Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Dec 19, 2010 07:58 PM

Food Safety Bill just passed US Senate!


For those 1 in 6 Americans who got food poisoning last year, this one's for you!
[numbers courtesy of the CDC].

Should be clear for Presidential signature... (in case you're totally curious, this is the second time the Senate passed the bill. somebody screwed up a bit of procedure)

    1. Just more cost passed on to the consumer and 1 in 6 will still get food poisoning.

      8 Replies
      1. re: mrbigshotno.1

        profit uber alles.
        if you make the cost to killing people too much, the corporations CAN'T do it, or they'd be in violation of their charter. And that's lawsuit territory.

        1. re: Chowrin

          who do you think will pay the additional cost?

          1. re: justanotherpenguin

            If you want cheap (free, really) food without government regulation, you can always go this route:


            Plenty of people do it.

            I'll continue to spend whatever it takes on whatever I can afford at the places that are legally obligated to sell me government-regulated food, though.

            1. re: justanotherpenguin

              depends on which cost you're talking... nobody needs to pay for killing people, obviously, as killing would become unprofitable under maximal regulation. That said, all regs have impact on the poor quality control factories. So, anyone who's buying from a company that formerly had poor quality control.

              That's obvious. There may be incidental impact on "high quality control" companies, should any exist.

              I wish we'd do something smarter than this whole "profit" and regulate business...[my call: better charters for businesses, that give CEOs more discretion,
              might help prevent a race to the bottom of quality standards, coupled with a determined investment strategy by you and me.]

              1. re: justanotherpenguin

                also, it may very well save costs. How much does a night in an ER for vomiting cost? let's be conservative, and say $5000 (bullshit!). Take a LOT of quality control to average out to 40 million people times 5000 dollars.

                1. re: Chowrin

                  my nephew, his wife and their older (2yr) child all got food poisoning around thanksgiving. they cooked some chicken that they admitted smelled questionable. never went to er, but were sick for several days.

                  two observations: (1) they did not spend $15,000 of my money in er [3x$5000]; (2) people should not eat stuff that doesn't smell right.

                  i do not understand in any way, shape or form how this legislation would have helped. it simply increases an already bloated bureaucracy.

                  1. re: justanotherpenguin

                    i also don't believe they were covered in the stats I quoted. haven't read the journal article, though.

                    1. re: justanotherpenguin

                      No, the government can't save stupid people from themselves. But, they should be able to prevent companies from adding melamine or using contaminated peanut plants to mass produce food. If someone wants to ram a car into a wall, full force, the government can't stop that. But, it can try to stop a manufacturer from putting out a car that explodes on impact. Thankfully, your nephew and family were okay--it's one thing with healthy adults but little children can be seriously affected by food poisoning. I take extra precautions with little ones. Hope your nephew and family have learned from this experience.

            2. So this bill will eliminate food poisoning? All those cases are caused by bad farming practices? or do they intend to come into my kitchen to make sure I am properly cleaning and sanitizing my meat cutting board? Maybe they will follow each cook and server into the bathroom to make sure they are properly washing their hands.

              Pardon my skepticism.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Sal Vanilla

                apologies, sal. hyperbole used rhetorically, to avoid dealing with the sideargument of "is this regulation effective" in order to argue for regulation as a general good, in the ideal case.

                1. re: Chowrin

                  The flip is also true. Just because some regulations are beneficial does not mean that all regulations are good.

                  I used your own example. You know - for the good of the one in six.

                  1. re: Sal Vanilla

                    your point was made, and made well! ;-) that said, increasing the number of plants inspected back to pre-Bush levels seems like a "not bad" increase in regulation.

              2. Have you read the bill?
                "The new Food Tyranny Act — called the “Food Safety Modernization Act” in the U.S. Senate — has been passed by the senate today. It would give the FDA vast new powers to criminalize and imprison farmers and food producers while doing absolutely nothing to address to real root of the food contamination problem: Factory animal farm operations (which are regulated under the USDA, not the FDA)."


                6 Replies
                1. re: KeepOurFreedoms

                  can you post some stats on how many people get sick of botulism (not factory farms), or because the truckers turn up their refridgerated truck temps? (again, not factory farms?). I'm not saying that factory farms ain't a big problem (more environmentally than otherwise, in my ignorant opinion), just that you haven't proved your point.
                  (if you've gota journal subscription, the CDC report might have all this, dunno)

                  1. re: Chowrin

                    Sorry, I don't have the stats on that or anything else. Have you read the bill? or at least a summary?
                    "(NaturalNews) Senate Bill 510, the Food Safety Modernization Act, has been called "the most dangerous bill in the history of the United States of America." It would grant the U.S. government new authority over the public's right to grow, trade and transport any foods. This would give Big brother the power to regulate the tomato plants in your backyard. It would grant them the power to arrest and imprison people selling cucumbers at farmer's markets. It would criminalize the transporting of organic produce if you don't comply with the authoritarian rules of the federal government."
                    Learn more:

                    1. re: KeepOurFreedoms

                      Sorry KOF, at least one myth from NatNews has been debunked already. Small producers (including your backyard) are specifically exempted.

                      1. re: DonShirer

                        Please provide a link for that. Thanks.

                        1. re: KeepOurFreedoms

                          'The final Senate bill included the amendment, authored by Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont. It exempts farms with sales of less than $500,000 a year from the new food safety requirements if they sell most of their food directly to in-state consumers, or to consumers within a 275-mile radius of the farm.'

                          Read more:

                  2. I don't trust my government elected leaders to regulate anything well....AND I don't trust my farm neighbor to always be ethical either. I do believe in buying fresh,local and organic whenever possible.

                    If that fails, buy a gun, put up a greenhouse, get some religion and breed chickens. S'all good.
                    Err....maybe not just chickens...maybe a gooose for some of that there "fwaaa gwaa" I herd about.