New Law Passed. Food Now Safe.


Death peanut! Save me, FDA!

Yesterday the House passed a shiny new food safety bill, since the one we've been using dates from 1938 and it was all old-timey and stuff. The bill, which the Senate will take up in the fall, gives the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) a bunch of new inspection and tracking powers. Also, there's more funding for food safety research—because it's not like anyone else is out there trying to extend safe shelf life or otherwise prevent food-borne illness.

Upon passage, bill author Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.) crowed (in a Washington Post print edition pull quote, no less):

"This will fundamentally change the way in which we ensure the safety of our food supply."

Which, when you stop and think about it, is a weird thing to hype. Not that our food will be safer—no promises there—but that we are totally going to do all the bureaucratic stuff differently now. Ah, Washington.

More on the FDA's well intentioned but occasionally redundant efforts to look out for our health here and here.