Food safety is a critical element of our national health. Where our food comes from, nutritional information, guidelines for quality control and recommendations for public health are all vitally important to families.
Thankfully, EMILY’s List candidates in the House and Senate have been fighting to make sure our food is safe. From protecting baby formula nutritional information, to making sure food products are accurately labeled, and regulating the domestic transportation and distribution of food, EMILY’s List women are working hard each day to provide the best for America’s families. In 2009, nearly all of EMILY’s List women in the House supported legislation that would require facilities to submit food safety plans to the FDA, allow the FDA to mandate more information for inspection and would create a tagging system to trace food-borne illnesses. Rep. Lynn Woolsey spoke out in support of the bill. She said, “I strongly support provisions in this bill that grant the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, new authority to hold more frequent inspections of food processing facilities and the requirement that all food facilities register with the FDA annually. To better combat food -borne illnesses, H.R. 2749 will also enable the FDA to establish a food trace-back system that will help public health officials identify the origin and path of food products when an outbreak occurs.”
And, EMILY’s List candidates’ hard work is paying off. According to the Center for Disease Control, reports of several of the most common foodborne illnesses have been decreasing. Moreover, there is a downward trend in foodborne infections, which has resulted from an increased knowledge about preventing contamination and better inspection methods.
CDC: Report Shows Downward Trend in Foodborne Infections. According to the Center for Disease Control’s 2010 FoodNet Report Card, a “downward trend in foodborne infections” was examined. The CDC reported that this trend was due to the following factors:
- “Enhanced knowledge about preventing contamination. PulseNet, the national molecular subtyping network for foodborne bacterial pathogens, can detect widely dispersed outbreaks and has greatly improved the detection and investigation of multistate outbreaks.”
- “Cleaner slaughter methods, microbial testing, and better inspections in ground beef processing plants.”
- “Regulatory agency prohibition of contamination of ground beef with E. coli O157 (resulting in 234 beef recalls since E. coli O157 was declared an adulterant in ground beef in 1994).”
- “Improvements in the FDA model Food Code.”
- “Increased awareness in food service establishments and consumers' homes of the risk of consumption of undercooked ground beef.”
[CDC, FoodNet, 2010 Report Card, accessed 2/27/12]