WILL THE F.D.A. FOOD SAFETY EXERCISE MAKE A DIFFERENCE?


IMO NOTE: As the food safety issue becomes politicized (Bad Thing) the resulting bureaucracy will only make it harder for shippers to participate. The arena is so cluttered with would be contenders for the "right to be heard" that the most important message will be missed.
Here is Jim Prevor's take:

From The Weekly Standard

By Jim Prevor of "Perishable Pundit" fame
November 29, 2011

Today, the Senate is likely to vote on the Food Safety Modernization Act of 2010 (S510). 
But the bill is little more than an enormous grant of money and power to the Food and Drug Administration and a lot of reporting burdens imposed on the private sector. 
Those who favor a smaller, leaner government should oppose it.
Food Safety Bill Will Not Make Food Safer, Will Increase Food Costs and Budget Deficit
Advocates for the bill point out that we need “change” as the food safety system is built mostly on laws passed over seventy years ago.
 They would like to transform the FDA from what they perceive as a mostly reactive agency – dealing with food safety after outbreaks occur – to a proactive agency that will safeguard the food supply.



However, as we have learned in other contexts, yearning for change begs the question of what change will actually be and what it would actually accomplish.
 In this case the food supply is so vast and the supply chain so complicated that there is no known or practical way the FDA can be an effective sentinel against all pathogens in the food supply.
First, the food supply in America is quite safe.
 There is simply no emergency that requires a rush vote in a lame duck session.
 In fact, the only reason for pushing the bill now is that the new Republicans waiting to be seated in the House probably would not support giving such an enormous blank check in money and authority to the FDA. 
This alone is enough reason for the Republicans in the senate to refuse to support the bill.
Second, there is little reason to believe the bill will save lives or reduce illness unless you believe that giving the government more power and money will automatically make things safer. 

If so, the bill is wildly inadequate as, not surprisingly, even with significantly expanded power and resources, the FDA will not be able to inspect even a tiny percentage of the food supply.