Food, Inc.’s Eric Schlosser Urges Senate to Pass Food Safety Bill (VIDEO) | Civil Eats

Food, Inc.’s Eric Schlosser Urges Senate to Pass Food Safety Bill (VIDEO)

Safe and sustainable: we need our food to be both, and nowhere has the case been made better than in the Academy Award-nominated documentary, Food, Inc. Earlier this month, Consumers Union, long a proponent of safe, sustainable food, hosted an Activist Summit in Washington, D.C. which featured two of the film’s leading voices: Barbara Kowalcyk, who lost her two-year-old son to beef suspected of contamination with E.coli 0157:H7, and whose struggle for tougher food safety laws is documented in the film, and Eric Schlosser, author of Fast Food Nation, and the film’s co-producer.

Schlosser is now joining with Consumers Union to urge consumers to fight for passage of FDA food safety reform legislation, which passed the House of Representatives last year and is now stalled awaiting action in the Senate.

That we need better measures to insure food safety is indisputable. Deaths from eating ordinary foods, from spinach to peanut butter, have made that clear. Leafy green processors, peanut butter factories, and other high-risk facilities should be inspected at least once a year, not once a decade, as FDA currently averages. FDA should have the authority to order recalls of tainted food, and not have to wheedle and cajole to get a company to retrieve a contaminated product. These changes are incorporated in S. 510, the FDA food safety bill pending in the Senate.

That we need a more sustainable food production system, one that involves smaller, more diverse, local production, is also clear. At the urging of the sustainable farming community, and supported by Consumers Union, provisions to protect sustainable farming have been incorporated into S. 510. The bill requires FDA to develop new food safety standards in consultation with USDA that cannot be in conflict with organic standards. FDA must consider maintaining biological diversity, impact on small farms, conservation and the environment in setting standards. FDA must also take into account the needs of small businesses, and give small businesses more time to meet the new food safety standards.

newsmatch banner 2022

As Schlosser says, it makes no sense to continue to let the food industry regulate itself. The Senate should pass S. 510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act now. You can urge Congress do so here.

We’ll bring the news to you.

Get the weekly Civil Eats newsletter, delivered to your inbox.

Today’s food system is complex.

Invest in nonprofit journalism that tells the whole story.

Jean Halloran is Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, nonprofit publisher of Consumer Reports. In her 28 years at Consumers Union she has led many projects on food safety, sustainable consumption and trade issues. She is currently responsible for developing policy and staff initiatives on biotechnology, mad cow disease prevention, mercury in fish, and bacteria in meat, poultry and produce. Read more >

Like the story?
Join the conversation.

More from

Farm Bill

Featured

Apple tree burnt by hot sun and drought

Climate Change Is Pushing Pacific Northwest Farmers to Protect Crops from Extreme Heat

Farmers who grow apples, berries, cherries, potatoes, and more are facing more intense and frequent heat, and struggling to adapt their practices to protect their crops. 

Popular

Young Farmers Are Growing Food for Climate Action and Racial Justice

Iriel Edwards working on the farm. (Photo courtesy of Iriel Edwards)

A Young Oyster Farmer Carrying on the Family Business

Gaby Zlotkowsky on a boat holding a basket of oysters. (Photo credit: Capshore Photography)

Young People Working for Food Justice in North Carolina

Michael

Young Fishermen Are Struggling to Stay Afloat

Lucas Raymond holding a halibut. (Photo courtesy of the New England Young Fishermen's Alliance)