Editorial: Food safety bill merits swift passage

Each year, 325,000 Americans are hospitalized with foodborne illnesses,
and 5,000 people die. And yet for decades, the main agencies charged
with the nation’s food safety — the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
and the U.S. Department of Agriculture — have been under resourced and
hampered by archaic laws too often put in place back when most people
still canned their own produce and bought meat from a local butcher. In
the age of supermarkets, fast food and globally grown produce, updates
to the nation’s food safety laws are sorely needed. The stakes are
especially high in Minnesota, one of the nation’s leading states for
food processing.

Fortunately, Congress is finally making these reforms a high priority.
Over the next few weeks, the Food Safety Modernization Act is poised to
become the next major item on the U.S. Senate agenda. The act is a
critical step toward making the U.S. food supply safer, with a focus on
strengthening the FDA. More: www.startribune.com

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