Breaking News: Senate Overhauls Food Safety Regulations
November 30, 2010 – Nearing the end of a year filled with almost daily nationwide food contamination recalls and mounting consumer advocate pressure, today the Senate passed a sweeping overhaul of the U.S. food-safety system. The legislation is intended to greatly empower the Food & Drug Administration’s authority, as well as to get the government to crack down on contaminated products before an outbreak occurs.
New Legislation, New FDA Authority
The new bill would give the FDA the authority to enforce a food recall when a company refuses the request to do so voluntarily. Additionally, the legislation would allow the agency to step up inspections at food processing plants, expand its capabilities to trace the source of foodborne disease outbreaks, and increase the number of FDA inspectors at food plants.
Food Safety Bill Still Not a Done Deal
The House of Representatives passed its own food-safety bill last year, so the Senate was not expected to vote on similar legislation this term. With so little time left for the chambers to negotiate, the concern now is that the bill may still die despite unusual bipartisan support on Capitol Hill and a strong push from the Obama administration. According to the New York Times “top House Democrats said that they would consider simply passing the Senate version to speed approval.”
“I urge the House — which has previously passed legislation demonstrating its strong commitment to making our food supply safer — to act quickly on this critical bill, and I applaud the work that was done to ensure its broad bipartisan passage in the Senate,” President Obama said in a statement.
2010: Record Year for Foodborne Outbreaks
This year, outbreaks of foodborne illnesses have been linked to peanut butter and contaminated produce, and recently a large salmonella outbreak was linked to contaminated eggs. More than 500 million eggs were recalled after dangerous levels of Salmonella were detected in the eggs of two Iowa producers that distribute eggs in fourteen states. Nearly 2,000 illnesses were reported between May and July, approximately 1,300 more than usual for this strain of the bacteria.
Victim of Food Poisoning? Contact us today – you may have a case.
The Food Poisoning Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in FDA recall lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Free Food Poisoning Case Evaluation: If you or a loved one has become sickened after eating contaminated food, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit and we can help.