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Passage of Food Safety bill urged

The Food Safety Bill is currently bogged down in the United States Senate; however, advocates against unsafe food products are urging its quick passage. There is widespread knowledge and understanding that the Food Safety Bill is long overdue and common sense; moreover, it is needed to finally update our country’s horse-and-buggy-era food safety laws. Among several food safety measures, the Food Safety Bill would require annual inspections for high-risk processing facilities, improve oversight of food imported from other countries, and significantly improve “tracebacks,” a method of figuring out contaminated products’ locations, before our country’s consumers digest them.

One prickly point of the Food Safety Bill involves a controversial amendment to ban bisphenol-A (“BPA”). Some advocates are asking senators to reject the amendment because it is jeopardizing the bill’s passage; these advocates suggest that BPA should be dealt with separately. Advocates against unsafe food products, including product liability lawyers, are familiar with BPA. BPA is an organic compound used to make plastics and resins in addition to other applications. It has been known to contain estrogen since the 1930s and concerns about BPA’s use in consumer products have been regularly reported. Reports of the dangers of BPA surfaced frequently in 2008 after several governments issued reports questioning its product safety and prompting some retailers to remove products containing BPA from their shelves. A 2010 report from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raised further product liability concerns regarding exposure of fetuses, infants, and young children. Some health effects that were raised in reports on BPA included that it may lead to increased obesity, neurological issues, and thyroid function problems. Thus, advocates are torn about the BPA amendment to the Food Safety Bill; on one hand, the bill should be passed ASAP. But, on the other hand, is this the legislature’s best chance to put a halt to the use of BPA?

Follow the link to read more about the Food Safety bill.