If the Obama Administration is Serious About Food Safety – We Need a Reformer
Every year in the U.S. an estimated 76 million people get sick with foodborne illnesses and 5,000 die, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. One person who knows this fact better than almost anybody else in this country, is food safety lawyer Bill Marler.
Marler recently came to the public’s attention with his generous offer to pay for author Michael Pollan’s visit to Washington State University, after his book had been removed from the freshmen reading program. What many may not know is that he’s been known as a leading advocate for food safety for nearly two decades.
Marler first leapt to national prominence as the lead attorney in the famous 1993 Jack in the Box E.coli outbreak. Since that time, Marler has led the charge in protecting the rights of consumers against unsafe practices of major corporations. While dedicated to a high standard of food safety protocols, Marler is also pragmatic about the real economic need for food safety.
Poor food safety practices also have a major negative impact on the bottom line of business, costing U.S. companies more than $6.9 billion each year, which Marler believes could be better spent to keep America’s food supply truly safe.
Despite the food industry’s long contempt for personal injury attorneys, Marler could end up being their dream pick for the FSIS spot if they were willing to allow the motivated attorney to oversee the much needed change in food safety policies at the USDA.
One post that I think lays out the issues for local, sustainable agriculture can be found - http://www.marlerblog.com/2009/03/articles/lawyer-oped/marler-talk-with-phil-brasher-safety-rules-burden-smaller-farmers/
When the Administration does pick the head of FSIS, I hope he or she reads this - http://www.marlerblog.com/2008/11/articles/lawyer-oped/open-letter-to-a-new-under-secretary-for-food-safety-fsis-the-end-of-e-coli-conservatism/