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Tom Philpott: Food for Thought
When President Obama signed into law an overhaul of the nation’s food-safety regime in early 2011, it was clear that the system needed a kick in the pants. Recent salmonella outbreaks involving a dizzying array of peanut products and a half billion eggs had revealed adysfunctional, porous regulatory environment for the nation’s increasingly concentrated food system.
The law, known the Food Safety Modernization Act, was a pretty modest piece of work when it came to reining in massive operations that can sicken thousands nationwide with a single day’s output. No surprise, since Big Food’s main lobbying group, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, notes on its web site that “GMA worked closely with legislators to craft the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act and will work closely with the FDA to develop rules and guidance to implement the provisions of this new law. ” (Food and Water Watch summarizes FSMA here; Elanor Starmer lists some of its limitations here.)