As we sat down to our Thanksgiving feast last week, most of us just assumed that the turkey, potatoes, vegetables and fruit we stuffed ourselves with was safe. It is unlikely that the prayers offered at the table included the line, “Lord protect us from salmonella this day.”
Despite well-publicized food recalls and continuous media scare stories, most Americans have confidence in the safety of the food they buy, even though the regulatory structure that oversees our food supply was written in 1936. This is why the 111th Congress enacted the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law by President Obama on Jan. 4.
This was Washington’s response to the food recalls that have been splashed across the front page in recent years. Consumers went back to trusting their food supply, confident that new science-based regulations were now in effect to keep them safe. The problem is that mounting government budget deficits have prevented many of the proposed reforms from being implemented.