On the cusp of one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history, the debt deal passed last week in Washington has got us worried about the future of food safety. In January, things were looking up. President Obama signed a $1.4 billion overhaul of the nation's food safety system with the Food Safety Modernization Act, the first major food reform since 1938.
But last week, everything changed. The House called for $285 million in cuts to the FDA, with $87 million coming straight out of the food safety budget. Stephen Grossman, the Deputy Executive Director of the Alliance for a Stronger FDA wrote on Friday: "FDA’s responsibilities are not going to shrink just because federal spending is being reduced. We hope Congress sees, as we do, that FDA is not optional. It is part of what society needs to function."
In the past few years, the issue of food-borne illness has been brought time and time again to the attention of the general public. But if we want to look at the whole thing in a more positive light, maybe these cuts will be the push people need to consider the benefits of sustainable and local food sources. What do you think? Are savings on cheaper food really worth the potential price of your health?