Safe Food First
By Consumers Union on Wednesday, September 16th, 2009
Consumers Union has been a long and ardent supporter of organic and sustainable agriculture as part of our mission to work for healthful and affordable food for consumers. But first and foremost food must be safe. Consumers should be able to trust that the food they eat is safe no matter what the size of the farm is that produced it.
The Huffington Post has a great blog about this and the pending food safety bill. The post focuses on how the food legislation will – and will not – impact small farmers. Here are some highlights:
“research shows both imported and domestic fresh produce have been responsible for large numbers of foodborne illnesses and outbreaks. Compiling data from the CDC and state and local health departments, the Center for Science in the Public Interest found that, between 1990 and 2006, produce was second only to seafood in causing foodborne illness outbreaks and was responsible for 21 percent of the illnesses in their database. Produce was responsible for more outbreaks than meat, poultry, eggs, dairy and bread products. “
It is an unfortunate fact that fruits and vegetables, while enormously good for you, can also make you sick.
“While both farmers and consumers benefit from safer food, no one benefits from a law that puts ridiculous burdens on small farmers. The bill that passed the House does NOT impose fees on farms. They are specifically exempted from the registration fee. Many of the provisions that initially sparked fear among small and organic producers were changed or dropped before the bill passed the House last July.”
But there are ways to address this problem that will work for small and organic agriculture.
Click here to make your food safer