Running Head: Health Care Bill and Impact on the Community
Date of Submission:
Health Care Bill and Impact on the Community
S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, which is recognized as the most dangerous bill ever formulated in the American history, is a bill aimed at amending the federal Cosmetic, Food and Drug act with respect to food supply safety. This bill provides the mandate for controlling the Americans’ right to transport, grow and trade any food to the American government (Nestle, 2010). This bill bestows the authority over food production to the Department of Homeland Security and FDA specifically for the prevention of outbreaks and contamination. Its aim is to provide mandatory recall authority to FDA such that it can require the food producers to possess qualifying plans to be utilized to identify and address food safety risks while at the same time requiring importers to verify the safety linked to all types of food imported into America. The bill ends the US sovereignty over food production as it insists on compliance with WTO’s stipulations.
There are many key points that make up the bulk of the bill. The first key point stipulates that all food facilities should evaluate the food hazards and formulate preventive control. The bill gives the power to assess all collected fees in regards to facility inspections, importer programs and food recall (Shames, 2010). The next key point is that the bill directs the secretary to identify the control measures to enhance food safety and security, publicize the regulations linked to food transportation practices, develop policies to prevent anaphylaxis and food allergy in schools. It also helps to allocate the inspection resources in accordance to specific needs and recognize the bodies bestowed with the role of accrediting food-testing laboratories. Accordingly, the secretary is required to augment surveillance systems for food borne illnesses. The bill ascertains the need for foreign food importer inspections and foreign supplier verifications. Another key point is the recall of food by the secretary if deemed necessary.
As a summary of the bill’s main points, the bill aims at ensuring that all food facilities are prepared for food hazards through the implementation of preventive controls. This will reduce on the need for inspection as well as food recalls. In essence this reduces costs for the food facilities as they will not be forced to pay the recall and inspection fees. The bill obliges Secretary of Agriculture and the secretary to organize a strategy for National Agriculture and Food defense to ensure that they can easily identify the programs for enhancing food safety and security. It also helps to enhance followance to food transportation regulations, allocate the resources for inspection in accordance to specific need and augment the surveillance systems for food borne illnesses (Johnson, 2010). The bill directs the Environmental Protection Agency director to work with all factions of the government to aid the country to recover from a food emergency.
Some of the major patients with food related illnesses are school going children and those involved in the Childhood education programs. Most of their food related illnesses are linked to anaphylaxis and food allergy. The bill will affect them positively as the secretary is mandated to develop policies to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis and food allergy in Childhood education programs and schools (Nestle, 2010). Patients who rely on organic food will be adversely affected due to the restrictions created for the small farmers who produce organic food. Transportation of food to the hospitals will be hindered due to the sanitary food transportation practices. In most cases, food transported to the hospitals is special and of various qualities owing to the diverse dietary requirements of different patients. Food transportation restrictions will affect patients adversely as some will not be able to access the prescribed food for their recovery purposes.
The S. 510: FDA Food Safety Modernization Act should not be passed until it is amended. This is because leaving the bill the way it is will not only affect the farmers, food producers and food facilities but will also affect Americans in general (Shames, 2010). Patients will be affected adversely due to their limited access to the right type of food for their recovery process. Providing too much power to the secretary will culminate into unfair treatment for the food facility owners especially those who are not ready to concur with the oppressive requirements of the bill. The fact that the bill stipulates that US food production should comply with WTO means that the self-sufficiency of Americans in terms of food supply will be reduced susceptibly. In conclusion, the bill should not be passed as it infringes on the right of food production.
Johnson, R. (2010).Food Safety on the Farm: Federal Programs and Legislative Action. Congressional Research Service. Retrieved from http://assets.opencrs.com/rpts/RL34612_20101005.pdf
Nestle, M. (2010). Safe food: The Politics of Food Safety. Berkeley, MA: University of California Press.
Shames, L. (2010). Food Safety: FDA Has Begun to Take Action to Address Weaknesses in Food Safety Research, but Gaps Remain. New York, NY: DIANE Publishing.