The Senate will not take up the Food Safety Bill before the members leave for election campaigning. There is a small chance they may take it up at the end of the year or have to start all over again next year. Why did this happen? In the past two years alone, there has been a steady drumbeat of outbreaks of illnesses related to unsafe food (lettuce, tomatoes, spinach, eggs to name a few) so the urgency is quite clear. Sen. Coburn (Republican of Oklahoma) ) who has opposed the Bill, says we do not have the money to make our food system safe in the face of a huge deficit. Here is an alternative: unsafe food=more sick people=higher healthcare costs=higher premiums for all of us. Add to this the loss in productivity due to time lost in dealing with sickness.This cost is likely to be far higher than the proposed outlay on overhauling the food system. Others have opposed to inspections of farms. Why? There has to be a way to protect consumers from being sold unsafe food, why would anyone object to participating in that system? Also, concerns have been raised over the rights of small and organic farmers and that should definitely be addressed. But it is a crying shame that big money can stand in the way of public health in this country. If you are voting this November or happen to meet the people you voted for, ask them why this is so. Perhaps you could show them this video.
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