In his Saturday radio address, President Obama promised to update the FDA food inspection and safety rules which actually date back to the Roosevelt Administration. This improvement in food safety rules should make a dramatic improvement in food safety for the American consumer. Every year 1 in 4 Americans get sick with some form of food poisoning, striking 76 million persons. And many examples of this are because of food processor or retailer handling and not consumer food handling errors.
Sometimes, meat is processed in very dirty conditions, where even "downer" animals are used for food. "Downer" animals are very sick animals unable to walk on their own drug by meat processor personnel to be slaughtered. Often these animals can pass on illness to consumers.
Many Americans are also deeply concerned about the safety of food imports, especially from China and other places. And unfortunately, a great deal of the produce that is now sold in the U.S. is now imported from South America where water safety or fertilizer safeguards may not be as good as really needed for the American public safety. Tomatoes and other produce has been proven to hazardous in recent years.
Even American crops such as some peanuts have been found unsafe recently, and that was largely due to lax standards of safety at one large peanut processing business. However, other food products still may contain insect parts or be produced in plants with serious rats or mice problems. Rats are a known carrier of many illnesses for example.
This proposed overhaul of the public food safety rules should help to improve the public safety. Hopefully, Republicans in congress won't act to attempt to derail these FDA improvements. Often Republicans have bucked new regulations on business, including many good rules for the public good.
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