The Food Safety Modernization Act vows to give the FDA more power to track down food borne illnesses and issue recalls when in the past this was done by private food producers and will increase government inspections of the food supply. Passed in the house and signed into law by President Obama on January 4th, the scope of this bill cannot be ignored, especially since it is considered to be the most sweeping overhaul of the food safety system since 1938. The question most likely asked is, how will this food safety bill affect the average person on the street? In at least 2 ways.
Safer Food: . This law will allow the government to inspect farms and slaughter houses and track the origin of food borne illness while holding the food producers accountable. The moist obvious benefit should be safer food. Many were concerned that such a law would be detrimental to farmer’s markets and those who deal in local sales. However the law seems to bypass the “mom and pop” farmers who sell less than $500,000 a year for the sake of “sticking it” to the larger growers whose produce affect the mos people.
Possible higher cost of food: This Bill is estimated to cost the U.S. government $1.4 billion over four years, says Sen. Tom Coburn (R) of Oklahoma. There is no doubt that this expense will be passed onto consumers in the way of higher food cost. Farmers and slaughter houses have to spend money to bring their production up to regulatory standards and that cost has to be recouped somehow. In addition to the already rising cost of food due to higher fuel prices Americans will be looking at much higher prices.
The Food Safety Modernization Act incorporates some good aspects but has a hand that reaches deep into the food industry and only time will tell whether or not this Bill will actually be good for the country.