Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Symposium: New Landscapes in Food and Agricultural Law and Policy

The University of Oregon School of Law will be presenting a symposium titled, Cultivating our Future:  New Landscapes in Food and Agricultural Law and Policy. The symposium is October 1, 2010, 8-5pm PST, in Eugene, Oregon. Neal Fortin, Director of the Institute for Food Laws & Regulations at Michigan State University will be presenting on the panel, “Food for Thought–Strategies for Advocacy.”  Click here for more information. Click here to register.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fwd: Food Safety Accountability Act

Senators Patrick Leahy, Amy Klobuchar, and Al Franken have introduced the Food Safety Accountability Act of 2010, (S. 3767). The bill would not amend the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Rather the bill creates a new penalty in Chapter 47 of title 18 of the United States Code. Title 18 contains crimes and criminal procedure, and chapter 47 contains the various crimes of fraud.  The new criminal penalty would be for knowing introduction of misbranded or adulterated food into interstate commerce.

There already is an intentional crime penalty section in the FDCA. So it is interesting that the Senators choose the fraud chapter of criminal code rather than the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA). Perhaps they did this to move the bill through a more favorable committee. Senator Leahy chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee. Maybe this will prod the Senate to vote on the Food Safety Modernization Act, S. 510, which has languished in the Senate for 13 months.

Stephen Colbert to Testify to the House Today

Doug Powell reports that Stephen Colbert is scheduled to testify at the " “Protecting America’s Harvest,” House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security and International Law.
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Fallback Position - Migrant Worker Pt. 2
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

Friday, September 17, 2010

Moldy Oldy Food Laws - Time for the Senate to Act

When Theodore Roosevelt signed the Pure Food and Drug Act in 1906, it was a landmark. Unfortunately, in many situations the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is still works with the 1906 tools. We don't expect FDA to drive Model-Ts. We shouldn't expect them to work with an antiquated food food law.

After half a billion eggs were recalled, you would think Congress would act on long-awaited food safety legislation. But Senate Bill 510 has stalled for more than a year. The House passed its version of bill in July 2009. In those 13 months there have been 85 food recalls, and most recently, the largest egg recall in history

Time is running out because nothing will get done in Congress from November on into 2011. Now is the time to act. Call your senators and urge them to bring S. 510 to a vote!

My local newspaper's reporting of maggots in a coffee maker reminded me of why we need effective government regulation of food. The public needs a watchdog because we cannot see the maggots inside the food processing equipment. The food industry needs an effective watchdog, too, because their business relies on public confidence. I am sure sales of mochas and cappuccinos dropped at all local outlets after the newspaper reported on a single bad apple.

Monday, September 06, 2010