President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law yesterday. The legislation improves the security and safety of America’s food supply, allowing the Food and Drug Administration to protect us from foodborne illness and contaminated comestibles, both foreign and domestic. That’s something to everyone’s taste.
Unless they’re Republican. The GOP is defending the rights of toxic bacteria to have access to your digestive tract. To do that, Republican lawmakers will try to starve the FDA of the funds needed to enforce effective food safety regulation.
The Congressional Budget Office puts the expense of enforcing the law at $1.4 billion over five years, with most costs offset by fees, but spending must still be approved by the majority-Republican House. The cost of treating foodborne illness instead of preventing it: $152 billion a year. Costs over five years: $1.4 billion if we enforce the law, $760 billion if we don’t.
Each year 48 million Americans get sick from eating something; 128,000 of them are hospitalized, and 3,000 die. Every year. Apparently, that’s OK with the GOP.
Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com
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Tags: FDA, food, Food and Drug Administration, food poisoning, food safety, Food Safety Modernization Act, foodborne disease, foodborne illness, FSMA, GOP, public health, Republicans, salmonella, security, tainted food