According to the Christian Science Monitor, 5 food scares rattled  America and the Food and Drug Administration.  Here are the 5 most highly profiled food scares:

eggs (August 2010), peanuts (December 2009), Spinach (August 2007), lettuce (October 2006), and beef (February 2008)

The one piece of legislation that seems to have bipartisan support has hit a snafu reported by :


A serious constitutional snafu is threatening to derail pending food safety legislation, which passed the Senate by a 3-1 margin early Tuesday.

The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, S. 510, would be the most significant update of food safety laws in over seven decades, but it has become clear that the Senate made a potentially critical error by including a provision that would allow the FDA to impose fees on importers, and on companies whose food is recalled because of contamination.

Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution says all revenue-raising measures must originate in the House. This error will almost certainly mean that the legislation will have to be reconsidered in the Senate, a major setback considering the precious floor time it could take to jump though the necessary procedural hoops: namely circumventing Sen. Tom Coburn’s (R-OK) filibuster threat.

The way forward for the beleaguered legislation–which seemed to catch a big break with its 73-25 passage in the Senate this week–remains highly uncertain.

Part of the problem with food safety has been that Congress lacks the ability to recall unhealthy food.  Currently, only companies can issue recalls.  The new act gives the Food and Drug Administration the power to recall and more power to enforce food safety. 
Several TV personalities have voiced an opinion on the Food Safety Act.  Glenn Beck has warned his minions that it is a way for the government to control the population and that it will lead to starvation.  He feels that the sheeple know more about food safety than the government. 
John Stewart addresses this serious issue as only John Stewart can:


The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
The Food, the Bad and the Ugly
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor The Daily Show on Facebook


Hopefully the kinks can be ironed out of this legislation and S. 510 can move forward.

38 Thoughts to “Food Safety Act: 5 Food Recalls that Scared the Pants off America”

  1. Yet another government program that appears to “help” but will give more power to unelected agencies and secretaries and add perverse incentives for said agencies to over-regulate.

    Examples: Allowing FDA to collect fees for forcing a mandatory recall could also push FDA to pull the trigger early on a mandatory recall – putting them at odds with the company responsible.

    Fees. Allows FDA to assess fees for compliance failures (recalls and re-inspections). These fees give FDA incentive to find reasons to re-inspect a facility or order a mandatory recall—the only ways they can collect money for their efforts. Furthermore, assessing industry to pay for a new regulatory structure will increase food costs for consumers during a recession.

    This is another omnibus, overreaching bill whose purpose is to remove autonomy from the free market, give those politically connected more power to influence the market (, show the world that Congress “cares”, and can be done by legislation that addresses specific problems and not by enlarging the regulatory agencies that will be yet another layer of insulation from Congressional oversight and responsibility.

    And where are we supposed to find the money to pay for this? This bill authorizes the hiring of 17,500 more FDA inspectors. That alone, at a salary of $40K would be $700,000,000. Per Year.

    In every case of food “problems”, every company has acted swiftly with the gov’t. When you give government agencies power, they grow. They will find and invent reasons to gain more power and influence. In every case. If this power is given to the FDA, it WILL interfere to the smallest detail because that is the nature of a regulatory agency. The philosophy becomes that industry or the public cannot do anything right, are evil, and will act in evil ways unless controlled to the n’th detail.

  2. Moon,
    Just letting you know that there’s a comment in moderation. Too much linky….

  3. Very funny. It appeared just as I posted the above……

    You can delete numbers 2 and 3 if you want….

  4. I don’t understand your system. I see it, but the blog is reporting only 2 of the above 3 comments and “no comments” when there was only #1.

  5. We have a food recall in my house whenever I cook.

  6. I don’t understand it either, Cargo. It doesn’t follow its own rules.

  7. marinm

    It’s like telling a beat cop that he can’t get a raise unless he pulls over more people and issues citations.. You then get an influx of regulatory infractions (no operators license, inspection out of date, maybe a busted headlight, etc..) that have no real effect on public safety but lets the police force grow.

    I guess you can always grow and consume your own food.

    No? Commerce clause violation?


  8. Wolverine

    Pinko, maybe that’s because they often find crumpled up poetry drafts in the chicken soup?

  9. @Wolverine
    Actually, those dissolve somewhat and thicken the mix 🙂

  10. So do you all want to just let people get poisoned and die? What if the company doesn’t recall?

    I am concerned over the overseas crap that is used in commercial food. There is so much stuff in bread, for example, that comes from China. I don’t want to eat stuff from China. their standards aren’t up to ours.

  11. marinm

    The legislation will not reduce death by food to 0. People will continue to die because of stuff in food. All you can do is monitor the system issue out recalls when a problem presents.

    As Cargo pointed out.. Because the company would be on the hook whenever the govt pulled the trigger a ‘bad’ recall could crush a company. So, how does that family eat when they’ve lost that paycheck?

    ….just another reason to outsource

  12. Of course we could all just follow this guy

    and go back to the Stone Age. Then everything will be pure and organic again. Scary. I hope he doesn’t have a follow….of course he does. This is America. It’s filled with stupid crazy people.

  13. marinm

    Peak Food!! Peak Food!!

    You know what Cargo? America does have a lot of stupid crazy people… and God bless them for that. People we’re still a country of the free as long as we have the choice and ability to be stupid (not us, those on the left **JOKE!!!!**).

    The day we can’t make bad choices or stupid choices…is the day our republic falls.

  14. Wolverine

    Whoa, Moon!!! You and Mrs. W must be reading from the same book. Show her a food product imported in whole or in part from China, and she gets a look in her eye……. Problem is that these days they sometimes don’t really tell you the whole story about exactly where the ingredients came from. Oh, they will tell you what is in it but not necessarily where the items originated.

    In any case, she gets royally pissed at Wolverine, who is apt to eat anything that isn’t nailed down. I keep telling her that, if she ever spent three or four months living on a diet of nothing but rice and peanut sauce, she wouldn’t be so fussy. You can imagine how far that line gets me!! She just points to her RN degree and says something like: “Dummy!!” At Christmas the rest of the family echoes that and gives a big crinkle of noses and a loud “Yuck!!” as the old man digs into a jar of herring in cream sauce and a tin of smoked oysters from South Korea. I just tell ’em I’m Dutch. Got a right to be nuts at Christmas! Just can’t get any of them to share the joy. Really makes them gag when I tell them about the Southern part of my family that used to eat oysters raw!

  15. Marin, you simply don’t KNOW that. You and Cargo are paranoid. There is also the idea of food terrorism.

    Wolverine…listen to your wife. I would have to leave the house if you opened that crap. You would be relegated to the south 40!

  16. marinm

    MH, which part can I not know that you have the ‘answer’ to?

    No doubt about food terrorism but why not attack the water supply instead? You can do it from any toilet anywhere…………. But, I’m sure Congress will protect us.

    1. @marin, I am very opposed to government saying what goes in a McDonalds meal. I have no problem with guidelines for school lunches which receive a subsidy. If you don’t like whats forbidden in school lunches, pack your kid’s lunch.

      I do care if salmonella, botulism and other things are in a food supply. I don’t mind that kind of government intrusion. A look back in to history tells an ugly story about man’s greed and his callousness about the food industry. There has to be a watch dog and the dog needs some teeth.

      How about the old stock yards. What was the name of that book? The Jungle?

  17. marinm

    Well, the govt controls the content of the school meal (and helps kids become porkers now a days out of an attempt to help poor kids get more calories) so I don’t disagree with you on the idea that if you don’t like it, pack a lunch (however as a taxpayer I should get back that money).

    Each of these regulations have a very good potential at killing small to mid-size farms, producers, or packers. The big guys can take the hit. Public pressure can do more to the big companies than the regulators. And, either way the ‘little guy’ that works on the line is the guy that pays for the decision of the regulator.

    Look, at the end of the day this bill won’t impact me. I make enough that grocery shopping is more about what I want than buying the essentials to live. The people that get hurt by this are those that are on food stamps or barely making it. Bread goes up 15% and it doesn’t register to me. Someone on the bubble might have to choose between bread and rent.

    Regulation may sound like a great idea but the totality needs to be looked at. In this case I don’t think Congress has looked into the impacts or the potential unintended consequences.

    Your right about the Jungle. Gross. You remember what happened with Food Lion some years back? YUCK.

    1. @Marin, I don’t think there is as much as you think…re govt control of school lunches.

  18. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Nice picture of the electorate at the top!

    1. Did you tag yourself Slow?

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

  19. @Moon-howler
    Paranoid about what? Congressional oversight being lost as Congress authorized czars and Secretaries to make regulations at will? Politically connected people of large corporations like Goldman Sachs, GE, and Monsanto being put in charge of regulatory agencies? Over-reaching agencies looking for new reasons to exist and expand their reach like the EPA and the ATF? Or the IPCC with the man-made global warming scam?

    Man does affect the environment. Pollution does hurt the environment. But CO2 is not a pollutant. Nor has it been proven to affect temperature. Evidence is showing that the temperature has not climbed since 1998. Regional heat islands? Yes. Drought due to deforestation or overgrazing? Yes. Overfishing, wild habitat destruction, monoculture farming, lack of control on gene spliced food? Yes.

    CO2 or just carbon, increasing the temperature of the Earth’s atmosphere? Not so much.

    Good site with common sense discussions about climate. Spent hours reading the arguments in the comments over whether CO2 even affects warming, much less is the cause of the so-call AGW. That was my first clue that there is NO consensus on ANY climate forecasting model. Heck, Antarctic ice core samples show that CO2 increased about 900 years AFTER global warm periods. And we’re about 900 years after the Viking warm period.

  20. You are quoting a person who has an obvious political agenda. People disagree on this subject, sure. But I don’t think Watts is more right than the next guy.

    I don’t have the science background to argue global warming. The one thing that is absolutely certain: oil and natural gas are non-renewable energy. They will run out. We need to look towards alternatives.

    I also know that the growing season is longer than it was 40 years ago. I don’t know if it is a natural cycle or if it has to do with chemicals in the atmosphere or JUST is.

    It makes sense that you cannot dump unlimited crap into the atmosphere, which is our cocoon, without it having an impact. Take away one of those oxygen units and you have a deadly poison to mammals.

    Saying you KNOW that there is no such thing as global warming is right up there with saying you KNOW what God thinks. No one does.

  21. Moon,

    When the people that promoted the AGW theory have been exposed to be scamming the public and preventing true peer review of their science, when the UN has admitted that it changed its report AFTER it was signed and that it lied when reporting other climate changes, when the AGW crowd insisted that there was total consensus when that was not true, when promoters of the theory of CO2 as a pollutant have vested interests in making millions off of carbon trading, when the AGW crowd’s computer models are shown to be faulty, and when the main proponent of the theory has been shown to be fudging his data to advance an agenda, and when the Earth has not warmed in 12 years,

    I believe that it can safely be said that the current theory of man made global warmiing is a hoax.

    Now, there is that big glowing thing in the sky……that could cause warming. But the outlook on the sun is leaning towards a cooling…. I’ve read science estimates that say that a “little ice age” could happen within 100 years. NOT WILL, but could, if their science is right. And those scientists are putting out their evidence for peer review.

    As for stopping pollution and cleaning the environment, lets go full bore. What trade-offs are we willing to take? I don’t see the environmentalists being very serious about getting off coal for heating. Windmills and solar won’t cut it. Nuclear energy is the way to go. Oil may not be renewable but more and more is being discovered. Harder to get but there. America sits on oil deposits that dwarf Saudi Arabia’s. But its oil sands. Very expensive in time and energy.

    But what do we do? Subsidize windmills, burn food, and call carbon dioxide a pollutant. I notice that all of the worried environmentalists spend huge amounts of energy to have summits in nice places. They don’t act as if its a crisis.

    1. Cargo, you are speaking about a few people in the environmental science community–how does that differ from any other group of scientists? Regardless of what branch of science you are dealing with, there are going to be people who somehow act dishonorably or get overly caught up in their own egos.

      That doesn’t make scientific findings bogus. We have a long way to go with our scientific findings regarding global warming. We have a long way to go with our study of plate techtonics for that matter. Scientific knowledge is a work in progress. I am not willing to let politics take over any branch of science.

      the crap being sold in the Grand Canyon Book Stores should be warning enough: the GC created in 6,000 years? I find that so incredibly offensive! There was a perfect example of scientific theory becoming politicized.

      I am for keeping an open mind and continuing to study climate change. Our lives could depend on it.

      I can safely say that man made climate change is not a hoax. While I cannot argue the science of it, I can argue the logic of saying that man is not affecting the atmosphere. Life on earth is complex and interdependent.

      Or we could just go for broke and say it is all a hoax. Let’s just dump chemicals, cow crap, fertilizer and raw sewage into all the rivers of Virginia. Let’s see what that does.

      Actually, it just occurred to me. I cannot have this conversation. Why must everything be so F-ing political? I should have never thought about that book about the Grand Canyon. Everyone is an expert on everything. You don’t just blow off the scientific thought of thousands of people because one person is an AH.

  22. Moon,

    No one is talking about polluting. Every one of my posts supports a cleaner environment. I’m not even bringing in politics so much. I’m just saying that the CURRENT AGW theory being presented is a scam. There are others. The Earth may be warming. It may be cooling. I have no problem with actual science being done. Its just that this time, politics did come into it and corrupt it. It was not just one man. The UN was involved as was major universities and the US government. And I’m not talking only about the current office holders.

    Man Made climate change is a different thing entirely from global warming. I’ve even stated that man DOES change the Earth’s environment and listed a few. The Warming crowd changed their tune to “climate change” because they knew that their old scam was wearing thin. But, politics aside, “man made climate change” is different than “man made global warming” as presented by the AGW crowd. Climate change could mean, well…anything. The climate ALWAYS changes.

    1. Carbon emissions are pollution.

      I don’t see a big difference but sorry I am using old fashioned terms. That’s what happens when you get to be my age. I am sure my grandmother did the same thing.

      Glacier National Park is a good place to start with observing the effects of change. What caused the change? I can’t definitively say. I am not a scientist.

      In the 70’s the United States had begun to tackle the problems associated with non-renewable forms of energy. Solar Energy complexes were regionally formed that not only incorporated solar but other forms of renewable energy. What happened? Reagan was elected. It was all very political. What progress had been made ground to a halt. Things were put on hold for several decades. I know all about the politics of energy.

  23. marinm

    I have no issue with renewable energy.

    We’ll, let me take that a step back. I have no issue with corporations exploring renewable energy solutions. I take issue with the government doing so as they shouldn’t be in the business of supplying energy to citizens. This includes subsudies of the industry.

    I think the idea and practice of renewable energy is great. Leaves more oil to fund and power the industrial defense complex. 🙂

    1. What are you going to do when the oil runs out? It will some day.

      I don’t think our govt. does any drilling. It is all privately done. I have no problem with the govt helping with grants and partner situations. But then I haven’t been endoctrinated to see the govt as the evil empire.

  24. marinm

    Endoctrinated? Really?

    Oil will run out some day.. Probably well after my offspring’s, offspring, offspring, offspring, offspring, offspring…you get the idea. Should we work on something better? Yup, no issue with that. But, I think it should be Exxon or BP and not Congress.

    If there is a market for renewable it’ll happen. If there isn’t one I don’t think we should ‘create’ it just to justify a ‘greens job’ agenda on a theory that lacks proof.

    To be clear – I have no issue with renewable energy but I disagree with you on the method to make it happen.

    1. I don’t think I have said any method I would like for it happen, have I?

      I have no problem if govt grants are given to individuals to help them get started or if there are government backed loans. That is a far cry from a govt run wind farm.

      And actually I believe the thread is about government having some control over safe food. I am all over that. Sounds like a good idea and I am glad the bill passed the house.

  25. Pat.Herve

    doesn’t NASA subsidize many industries? Which has lead to many innovations, that we all use day in and day out? What about DOD? I know of several well funded initiatives that came out of DOD, and into the mainstream (Internet, out of Darpa).

    Or how about funding two engines for the one plane (F35) – is that not one way of funding a government contractor?

    The Fed’s have funded many initiatives that has led to many industries – in the Green energy space (Solar/Battery), the companies making the discoveries is shipping all the knowledge (and factories) to China and other countries.

  26. marinm

    Pat, see my six-degrees of seperation arguement in the open thread. In an academic context we could argue it both ways and we’d be both right.

    Notice I spoke about industrial subsudies. Direct research grants from the federales to schools – I have no issue with (assuming of course cost and common sense controls are in use). The federales giving up $1M to a school to research if sand can be used to power a turbine is different than $1M for BP to set up a wind farm and then for BP to turn around and make a profit off it.

    The conservative in me has NO issue with green power and green research but keep the GOVERNMENT out of it.

    BTW, the 2nd F35 engine isn’t being requested by the services… Congress is asking for it.

    “First rule in government spending: why build one when you can have two at twice the price?” – Contact (film)

  27. marin, have you explored why you are so negative abouut the government?

  28. marinm

    I think it’s because I paid attention in Civics class. It’s healthy to be skeptical of BIG government.

  29. I’m skeptical of Congress because they are incompetent at running anything. The Senate couldn’t make a profit on their own cafeteria. The gov’t ran a brothel in Nevada that had been taken for taxes. It went broke. They spend money that they don’t have. They then say that they can spend their way out of debt. They pass laws that they have not read. They enact agencies that have regulatory powers that usurp Congressional authority. Then Congress blames the agency (Its not THEIR fault.) They will give away money to the politically connected and not because it will work.

    Every agency that Congress builds, it becomes moribund. Look at NASA. Could NASA do the moon shot program in 9 years today? Look at the EPA. They now declare gases necessary for life a pollutant because of political reasons. The ATF now will prosecute law abiding gun shops because the paperwork had a “Y” in a box instead of “Yes”. Congress is supposed to run DC. They did such a bad job of it that DC would rather be in “home rule” that’s incompetent and corrupt. At least those guys can be voted out.

    Soc. Sec.? Ponzi scheme. Medicaid/Medicare – cancer on the budget. Subsidies – welfare for the rich. Ethanol? Boondoggle that uses more energy to make than saves gas. Kills engines and gas mileage. Actually causes more pollution. But it gets votes in Iowa…..

  30. I lived in the 60’s. I watched the X-files. I have the opinion: trust but verify.

    I don’t think the govt. is malevolent.

  31. Moon, neither is cancer. But it will kill you just the same.

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