Time to Talk Turkey: Give FDA the Authority It Needs to Make Food Safe
November 23, 2010
by Jeff Levi
We all generally take for granted that the food we eat is safe - or at least won't hurt us. But, you may be surprised to learn that around 76 million Americans - one in four of us - get sick each year from food. Furthermore, around 325,000 get sick enough to be hospitalized and 5,000 even end up dying from foodborne diseases. And all this sickness hurts us in the pocketbook, too. Foodborne illness costs the U.S. economy around $152 billion each year.
The real tragedy here is that experts say virtually all foodborne illnesses could be prevented. Despite major advances in scientific knowledge, huge changes in how food is grown and processed, and seismic shifts in what we eat, the food safety system has not been fundamentally modernized in 100 years. Yes, you read that right, we're a whole century behind the times. This is back when people were driving Model T's, and no one had to be concerned about the quality of fish in their sushi or the freshness of the veggies on their delivery pizza. Times have changed, and it's time for food safety to get with the times.
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