Obama to Sign Bill to Improve Nation's Food Safety

Publication: The Associated Press


01/04/2011 - When salmonella-laced peanut products sickened hundreds during a recent scare, President Barack Obama said consumers should be able to have confidence that their government will keep peanut butter-eating children safe — and that included his daughter Sasha.

"That's what Sasha eats for lunch probably three times a week," Obama said then. "And you know, I don't want to have to worry about whether she's going to get sick as a consequence to having her lunch."

On Tuesday, Obama is getting a chance to allay people's fears about the safety of their food. He is set to sign a $1.4 billion overhaul of the food safety system, giving Washington new power to increase inspections at food processing facilities and force companies to recall tainted products

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Erik Olson, director of food and consumer safety programs at the Pew Health Group, argued that the health care costs associated with an outbreak of foodborne illness alone run into the tens of billions of dollars — far beyond the cost of putting the new law into place.

"This will save a great deal of money, both for consumers and for the industry," Olson told reporters on the conference call arranged by the administration.

Read the full article Obama to Sign Bill to Improve Nation's Food Safety on the Google News Web site.

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