Thanks to calls and messages from people like you, the FDA Food Safety reform bill made it through the Senate, and then through the House -- but now there's a BIG problem.
Because of a technical error in the language of the bill, it must now go through a vote in the Senate AGAIN! What's most troubling is that the bill was NOT included in the spending bill December 17 -- meaning unless we speak out, this critical food safety measure could be on the cutting room floor.
We have just hours to appeal to legislators and convince them to pass the food safety bill once and for all in the next 24 hours!
Food reform is long past due. There have been at least 60 food recalls -- including a half-billion eggs from maggot and rodent infested chicken coops. And such incidents pose real danger. Just recently, the deaths of four people were linked to contaminated celery from a processing plant in Texas.
The bill will make our food safer without creating a burden for small farms and processors (with under $500,000 a year in sales) who sell locally -- the Senate added language exempting them. Backyard gardens and farmers markets are unaffected. The FDA can concentrate its resources on the big guys.
But time is running out -- the do-over vote MUST happen within hours. Lawmakers are about to go home for the holidays, and if the Senate does not pass the bill again this week, the process will have to start all over again in 2011 -- leaving us vulnerable to more deadly outbreaks! Congress knows it has to address unemployment and taxes, but if lawmakers don't hear from you they may think food safety can go on a back burner.
Please take urgent action and tell your Senators to pass the food safety bill IMMEDIATELY.
We shouldn't have to wait any longer for safer food! This bill will finally give regulators the tools they need to focus on prevention, rather than scrambling to identify and remove tainted food after the fact. It will mandate more frequent inspections and enhanced outbreak surveillance. It gives FDA new tools for traceability and better recordkeeping systems for tracking down contaminated products. And it ultimately gives regulators the ability to make sure contaminated food is removed from store shelves.
Unbelievably, right now, food recalls are voluntary. The bill also will make sure imported food from countries like China is held to the same standards as food produced here in the United States. Every food company that wants to sell to US consumers -- even ones overseas -- will have to have food safety plans in place in order to identify where food contamination can occur.
Please pass the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act now.