Accusations of negligence of against a Nevada based food flavor company has fueled a growing chorus of newspapers, non-profits, and activists are calling for the Senate to enact common sense food safety measures.
As the recall of food tainted with HVP salmonella from Basic Food Flavor’s, a company in Las Vegas, NV, continues, the Washington Post echoed our call for the Senate to act on S.510 to ensure food safety.
The Food Safety Enhancement Act would require companies to develop and implement written food safety plans. They would include developing procedures for conducting hazard analysis, instituting preventive controls and taking corrective action, including recalls. These records would be accessible to the government in an emergency. The FDA would get the power to require product recalls. And the secretary of health and human services would be required to create a food-tracing system, which would make it easier to find sources of contamination.
All these common-sense measures passed the House in July. The bill has been sitting in the Senate since. We know that there is other legislation waiting, but the Senate really needs to move on this bill.
Consumers Union and the Make Our Food Safe Coalition are in the middle of the fight to make sure that the FDA is given the right power to stop irresponsible companies.
Our own Michael Hansen, Senior Research Associate, was quoted in another Washington Post article:
The contamination is believed to date to September 2009, meaning millions of pounds of potentially tainted HVP — all of which the company has recalled — was shipped in bulk to foodmakers over five months. Many of those companies then sold their products to other clients, complicating the chain and making it hard for federal officials to gauge the scope of the problem.
“This can potentially be in over 10,000 products,” said Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union.
Meanwhile food activists are working hard to get the message out as well. Check out Nevada resident, food safety victim and superstar activist 12 year old Rylee Chrismer’s cavalcade of inside the beltway players promising to make food safety a priority including Nevada Senator Harry Reid and FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.