Lunchtime poll – sniffing out food danger
March 25th, 2011
01:45 PM ET
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"We have seen Japanese people in grocery stores paying close attention to where their produce is coming from, and we think this is a wise practice." - World Health Organization spokesman Peter Cordingley

"Most of the food that most Americans are exposed to most of the time is pretty good – and particularly when there is reason to focus on it like this. The regulatory agencies are good about responding to a threat."

"If you think about Japanese imports from a safety point of view, given the fact that there was this bright spotlight of concern because of nuclear radiation, the FDA is going to be very concerned that the food coming in is safe." - Supply chain expert Gene Tanski, CEO of Demand Foresight

It's been an fairly scary year in food, from oil and Corexit threats in seafood and salmonella-tainted eggs to e. coli-related lettuce recalls and radiation-laden water.

The upshot is that food is now more closely scrutinized than at any time in history, and the Food Safety Modernization Act has been signed into law, but is that quieting the butterflies in your stomach?
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Filed under: Buzz • FDA • Food Politics • Health News • Lunchtime Poll • Radiation • S. 510 • Tainted Food


Obama signs food safety bill
January 5th, 2011
12:01 AM ET
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President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed the most sweeping overhaul of America's food safety system since 1938.

The legislation gives the federal Food and Drug Administration the authority to impose new rules to prevent contamination and allows the agency to order, rather than simply suggest, the recall of tainted foods. It also authorizes the creation of a food tracking system to quickly pinpoint the source of outbreaks.

The legislation requires producers to assess ways in which their products could be contaminated and to take steps to prevent such problems. It also requires importers to verify the safety of all foods they bring into the country.

The result will be a fundamental shift in the FDA's approach to food safety from reacting to foodborne illness outbreaks to preventing contamination in the first place, agency Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said.

Read Obama signs food safety bill on CNN Politics

Get more on S.510 - the Food Safety Modernization Act:

- Food safety bill, thought dead, passes unanimously

- Republicans block food safety bill

- Digest this: the new food safety act (and some very weird rumors)

- Senate approves long-delayed food safety bill

- Advocates: Food safety bill doesn't have teeth

- Food safety bill 'not perfect' but historic

- Op-ed: Jane Velez-Mitchell – Food safety doesn't end with S.510

- Poll: How much control should the federal government be allowed to exercise over food safety?

- S. 510: Food Safety Modernization Act – the basics

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Filed under: FDA • Health News • News • President Obama • Recalls • S. 510 • White House


Food safety bill expected to be signed today
January 4th, 2011
08:00 AM ET
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UPDATE: The bill has now been signed into law by President Obama.

President Barack Obama is expected to sign into law the most-sweeping overhaul of America's food safety system since 1938 after he returns to Washington on Tuesday from a family vacation in Hawaii.

The bill allows for greater governmental regulation of the U.S. food system - recently in the national spotlight for numerous egg and produce recalls.

Among its provisions, the bill gives the federal Food and Drug Administration the authority to issue direct recalls of foods that are suspected to be tainted, rather than relying on individual producers to issue recalls voluntarily.

Currently, the FDA can negotiate with companies, but has no power to enact a mandatory recall.
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Filed under: FDA • Food Politics • News • President Obama • S. 510


December 21st, 2010
04:45 PM ET
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UPDATE – The House has passed Food Safety Bill (S.510) 215 to 144 - with the provision of S.372, The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. The bill now goes to President Obama to sign.

Read House passes food safety bill to send to Obama

Sanjay Gupta spoke with chef Tom Colicchio and RedState.com editor-in-chief Erick Erickson about the growing controversy over governmental oversight of food safety, spurred on by the recent unanimous Senate vote in favor of the Food Safety Modernization Act.

Get more on S.510 - the Food Safety Modernization Act:

- Food safety bill, thought dead, passes unanimously

- Republicans block food safety bill

- Digest this: the new food safety act (and some very weird rumors)

- Senate approves long-delayed food safety bill

- Advocates: Food safety bill doesn't have teeth

- Food safety bill 'not perfect' but historic

- Op-ed: Jane Velez-Mitchell – Food safety doesn't end with S.510

- Poll: How much control should the federal government be allowed to exercise over food safety?

- S. 510: Food Safety Modernization Act – the basics

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Filed under: FDA • Food Politics • S. 510 • Sanjay Gupta • Tom Colicchio


Food safety bill, thought dead, passes unanimously
December 20th, 2010
03:15 PM ET
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Rumors of the Food Safety Modernization Act's demise proved premature. The Senate passed the Food Safety Bill, as amended by Senator Jon Tester, yesterday afternoon by unanimous consent.

The bill, designed to increase government inspections of the food supply in the wake of recent deadly foodborne disease outbreaks, originally passed with wide support in both chambers. However, it faced an uncertain future, requiring re-approval because it violated a Constitutional requirement that bills that raise revenue initiate in the House. On Friday, Senate leadership aides on both sides of the aisle said Republicans objected to giving it quick approval in the waning days of the congressional session.

The Senate voted on the slightly modified bill on Sunday and S.510 is now expected to receive a final vote in the House before the President signs it into law.

Previously:

- Republicans block food safety bill

- Digest this: the new food safety act (and some very weird rumors)

- Senate approves long-delayed food safety bill

- Advocates: Food safety bill doesn't have teeth

- Food safety bill 'not perfect' but historic

- Op-ed: Jane Velez-Mitchell – Food safety doesn't end with S.510

- Poll: How much control should the federal government be allowed to exercise over food safety?

- S. 510: Food Safety Modernization Act – the basics

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Filed under: FDA • Food Politics • S. 510


Republicans block food safety bill
December 17th, 2010
03:51 PM ET
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A sweeping food safety bill that passed the House and Senate earlier this year before stalling because of a legislative technicality now will likely die because Republicans object to giving it quick approval in the waning days of the congressional session, Senate leadership aides on both sides of the aisle said Friday.

The bill, designed to increase government inspections of the food supply in the wake of recent deadly food borne disease outbreaks, originally passed with wide support in the both chambers. However, it needs approval again because it violated a Constitutional requirement that bills that raise revenue initiate in the House.

Read Food safety bill could die on CNN Politics and catch up on S.510 the Food Safety Modernization Act

Previously:

- Digest this: the new food safety act (and some very weird rumors)

- Senate approves long-delayed food safety bill

- Advocates: Food safety bill doesn't have teeth

- Food safety bill 'not perfect' but historic

- Op-ed: Jane Velez-Mitchell – Food safety doesn't end with S.510

- Poll: How much control should the federal government be allowed to exercise over food safety?

- S. 510: Food Safety Modernization Act – the basics

Posted by:
Filed under: FDA • Food Politics • News • S. 510


Digest this: the new food safety act (and some very weird rumors)
December 1st, 2010
05:30 PM ET
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On Tuesday, the Senate voted in favor of the long-stalled Food Safety Modernization Act. While a final vote date hasn’t yet been set, President Obama hopes a House vote will go through with similar gusto, saying "We are one step closer to having critically important new tools to protect our nation's food supply and keep consumers safe."

The bill, which represents the most sweeping overhaul of the food safety system since 1938, allows for greater governmental regulation of the U.S. food system - currently in the national spotlight for numerous egg and produce recalls that have kept Americans in fear of their breakfast since this past August.
FULL POST



Op-ed: Jane Velez-Mitchell – Food safety doesn't end with S.510
November 30th, 2010
07:00 PM ET
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Jane Velez-Mitchell is the author of 'iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life' and 'Secrets Can Be Murder: The Killer Next Door' as well as 'Addict Nation: An Intervention for America' which will be published in February, 2011. She hosts ISSUES with Jane Velez-Mitchell nightly on HLN at 7p ET.

"Half measures avail us nothing." It’s a profound saying that usually applies to recovery from addiction, but, it could just as well be applied to America’s food crisis. The U.S. Senate’s passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act (S.510) is a step in the right direction, but, it fails to address the core issue at the very heart of our nation’s struggle to keep our food supply safe: the extreme and cruel confinement of animals raised and killed for food.
FULL POST



Lunchtime poll – S.510: Food Safety Modernization Act
November 30th, 2010
11:45 AM ET
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The U.S. Senate has just voted, 73-26, in favor of S.510 – the Food Safety Modernization Act. The bill offers a sweeping overhaul of the nation's current food safety regulations, empowering the FDA with oversight of mandatory recalls of potentially contaminated food, requirements for food producers to develop written food safety plans, accessible by the government in case of emergency and implementation of a food tracing system.

Get the basics of the bill and more on the vote.

While supporters and opponents of the bill agree that food safety is paramount - especially in light in this past summer's egg-based salmonella contamination that sickened over 1,600 consumers - there is considerable disagreement about the level of federal involvement that should be allowed.

On which side of the fence do you fall?

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Filed under: Business and Farming News • Buzz • Farms • FDA • Food Politics • Health News • Lunchtime Poll • News • Recalls • S. 510 • Tainted Food


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