Sunday, July 25, 2010

Unsafe Food and Senate Inaction

EVERY day, about 200,000 Americans are sickened by contaminated food. Every year, about 325,000 are hospitalized by a food-borne illness. And the number who are killed annually by something they ate is roughly the same as the number of Americans who’ve been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.

... very few cases of food poisoning are ever actually linked to what the person ate, and companies that sell contaminated products routinely avoid liability. The economic cost is instead imposed on society. And it’s a huge cost. According to a recent study sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trusts, the annual health-related cost of food-borne illness in the United States is about $152 billion.


The House has passed its version of The Food Safety Enhancement Act and the Senate subcommittee has voted unanimously on a similar bill. Yet the Senate has failed to act on this widely-supported bill. While you are reading this post and the article, you or someone you know may become ill from eating contaminated food -  a preventable illness.

The reckless act of the Peanut Corporation of America is a prime example of corporations that knowingly distribute contaminated food that results in death and illness yet manages to escape criminal or civil liability. This bill pending before the Senate should be passed swiftly and enforced aggressively in order to reduce the illnesses from this form of white-collar crime. 

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