We need food safety legislation

September 22, 2010

After the recent recall of half a billion eggs because of salmonella contamination, it's unacceptable that the U.S. Senate is at a stalemate on a bipartisan food safety reform bill ("GOP senator says he will hold up food safety bill," Sept. 16).

Since July 2009, when the House of Representatives voted to bring the FDA's food safety authority into the 21st century, Maryland alone has had 56 food recalls. That's 56 times Marylanders have been told that food in our kitchens was unsafe to eat.

We should not be at risk of illness and death from the food we eat. Maryland Sens. Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski should urge colleagues across the aisle to allow a vote on the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which will increase the inspections at food factories, and give FDA the authority to issue mandatory recalls so we can keep unsafe food off grocery shelves and off our dinner tables.

Jenny Levin, Baltimore

The writer is a public health associate with the Maryland Public Interest Research Group.

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