Opinion: Food Safety Delay Puts Lives at Risk

Publication: The Denver Post

Author: Lisa Wirthman


08/12/2012 -  It's been a year since a tragic listeria outbreak in cantaloupes began on a Colorado farm, claiming at least 30 lives and infecting nearly 150 people in the largest outbreak of foodborne illness in almost 90 years.

Yet, even as we've entered another summer outbreak season, important provisions of a landmark food safety law are still not implemented.

In July, some 60 people were sickened at the Denver Rescue Mission after consuming improperly handled pre-prepared food, a critical reminder of the need to keep food safe.

President Obama signed the Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) into law in January 2011, with bipartisan and industry support. The first major update to food safety rules in over 70 years, the FSMA shifts our national food safety focus from reaction to prevention.

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Funding the FDA may be another roadblock as Congress decides whether to provide adequate funds to implement the FSMA in upcoming appropriations bills. Some 66 percent of voters support additional funding for the FDA, said the Pew Health Group.

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Read the full opinion editorial, Food Safety Delay Puts Lives at Risk, on the Denver Post's website.

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