I am on the fence when it comes to the new Food Safety Bill. On one side, I don’t like the fact that the government will now be more involved in letting me know what I can eat. I mean, it’s my body; I should be able to eat whatever I want, right? I should be able to get my food from wherever I want to, whether it’s a conventional grocery store, the farmer’s market, or from my own back yard, right. The answer, as far as I’m concerned, is yes.
However, on the other side of the fence is the argument that we need someone to monitor the Food Industry better. And that someone ends up being the FDA, a government agency. Regardless of who that someone is, I do agree that we need better standards, practices, guidelines, and yes, laws, to govern what goes on within our Food Industry.
I’m not saying that the FDA is going to swoop in and fix everything. In fact, I don’t think we’re going to see a lot of changes, but in certain areas and aspects where it really does count, I think more supervision can only be a plus. Let’s take food recalls, for example. This Bill will give the FDA to authority to make food recalls mandatory and not just voluntary.
I think that the truth is, most farms and factories already follow a pretty strict set of guidelines when it comes to safety. The problem is the few bad apples out there who do not follow these guidelines and end up getting away with it-until someone ends up sick. This new bill hopes to bring all these companies up to the same level, making sure that anywhere food is produced or processed, the same set of safety standards are followed.
That’s not a bad thing, right? So, you can see why I am torn, why I’m on the fence. I will still be able to buy organic foods at the farmers market, but now I’ll know, for sure, that these foods are completely safe. But at the same time, it’s a matter of principle that I don’t like knowing my government has its hands in my food so much.
I guess all we can do is wait and see how things pan-out. In the meantime, I don’t plan on changing my habits. I will still grow a lot of my own food in my garden, I will still trade with neighbors and buy from farmers at the market, and I will continue to keep an eye on my government, as I’m sure they will continue to keep an eye on me.