When you have been representing injured people for twenty-eight plus years it is inevitable that you encounter food-borne illness cases. Some are straight-forward, I ate this, became sick and here is some leftover to test. Most are not.

On rare occasions the extent of the illness is so widespread that governmental agencies become involved. We all know about the peanut butter salmonella outbreak involving the Peanut Corporation of America in which nine people died and hundreds became ill.

The problem is that in the modern world it isn't a bad peanut or piece of beef, but a contaminated factory that causes food-borne disease. Our regulatory schemes are grossly inadequate and underfunded to inspect with any regularity the massive food production facilities.

The laws governing such inspections were promulgated 70 years ago when the food world was a different place. There are presently no provisions enabling the FDA to mandate recalls of products suspected to be contaminated. Provisions requiring that food production entities test their products for contamination, heck no.

Congress finally does appear to be headed toward some significant changes with more consistent inspections and greater quality controls for imported food. But, you can bet that monied interests will do everything in their power to water-down these provisions.

As is often the case, money talks safety well it is secondary.
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