The Food Safety Bill will permit the FDA to increase inspections of food producers, track fruit and vegetable shipments and place stricter manufacturing standards attempting to avoid outbreaks of contamination. This sounds like a really good thing. The interesting thing is that there are well respected food experts that have opposing beliefs about this bill. Michael Pollan (Omnivores Dilemma and Food Rules) publicly urged people to call their Senators to prevent the bill from passing, whereas Marion Nestle (Food Politics and What to Eat) thinks it’s about time for updated food safety regulations.
Opponents of the bill were concerned that the cost of compliance and large amount of paperwork required would put small businesses, smaller suppliers, and those who sell directly to consumers, like small family-owned farms or vendors at farmer’s markets, out of business. The effects of the bull could potentially interfere with organic and small scale food manufacturers as well as various natural supplements.
Small farms and small food suppliers are not part of the problem with food safety. The problems occur with the large scale food corporations that supply large amounts of food to consumers. The bill may have been pushed throught too quickly for this type of thing to be considered.
An interesting movie I watched recently talks a bit about this subject, I highly recommend watching Food Inc. whenever you get the chance.
Only time will tell if this bill will do any good at all or if it will just force small farms into bankruptcy – this is my biggest fear since I buy most of my food from small farmers. Let's hope that is not the case.