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It's hard enough to get my picky preschooler to eat healthy foods without also having to keep on top of the regular recalls of unsafe foods (like the recent salmonella tainted eggs debacle).

It shouldn't be this hard to keep our families healthy!

But it is.  Each year in the U.S., more 76 million people get sick and more than 5,000 die from food-borne diseases (like salmonella and E. coli).[1]  And shockingly, as one author in the New York Times points out, the number of people who die each year from food-borne disease is about the same as the number of Americans who’ve been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003.[2]

We can change this.

Will you send a quick note to your Senators and urge them to vote for the Food Safety Modernization Act by September 30th?

We're halfway there! The Food Safety Modernization Act has already passed the U.S. House and would give the FDA the resources to quickly track down the source of food-borne diseases, as well as to force recalls when it’s necessary to protect our families. A similar bill is now being considered by the Senate--and we need to help it move forward to passage.

With your note, added to thousands from around the country, we'll make sure your Senator knows how many parents just like you care deeply about the safety of food.

What exactly would the Food Safety Modernization Act do?

The Food Safety Modernization Act would update the FDA, giving it the authority to issue recalls, the resources to quickly track down contaminated food, as well as the ablity to set new safety provisions for large scale produce operations. [3]  Basically, the Act would set new and needed standards to keep our families safe. If a food-borne disease like salmonella starts to spread, it gives the FDA the resources and authority to be more more effective at stopping the outbreak quickly.

What’s super crazy about the recent egg recall (where 1,470 cases of salmonella poisoning have already been reported), is that the FDA doesn’t have the power to force a recall or the resources to quickly trace the source of a food contamination.[4,5]

The Food Safety Modernization Act will address these issues and more--both through the passage of the Act, and the passage of several amendments on issues that impact mothers, families, and farmers.  There are three specific amendments that will likely be proposed to this Act that could help us keep our families even healthier:

  • One amendment, which will be offered by Senator Feinstein, would make infant and toddler food safer by banning the hormone-disrupting chemical bisphenol A (BPA) from sippy cups, baby bottles, baby food, and infant formula containers.  BPA exposures threaten healthy childhood development and have no place in infant food packaging!
  • Another amendment that could particularly benefit families and small farmers is the manager’s amendment. The Food Safety Modernization Act instructs the FDA “to focus its enforcement efforts on [processing] plants that pose the greatest risk of causing large-scale outbreaks.”[6] The manager’s amendment works to protect small farms and processing centers by including exemptions for farms engaged in low-risk or no-risk processing from new regulations.[7]  It also reduces unnecessary paperwork for small farms.[8]
  • To further protect small farms, Senator Tester's proposed amendment would close loopholes and protect small farms across this country.

Help make the Food Modernization Act--and all the great amendments--a reality. Send a note to your Senators with one click today:

And please pass this link along to everyone you know. Five thousands deaths a year from food-borne disease is an unacceptable risk to our children.

Together we are a powerful voice for families,

--Sarah, Donna, Kristin, Claire and the whole team.

[1] U.S. Center for Disease Control

[2] Schlosser, Eric, July 27, 2010 "Unsafe at Any Meal," New York Times

[3] 2010 Food Modernization Act

[4] Mundy, Alicia, Sept 2. 2010 "Investigation Broadens in Egg Recall " Wall St. Journal

[5] Fulton, April, August 24, 2010 "Tainted Eggs Renew Calls For Food Safety Overhaul," National Public Radio

[6] Schlosser, Eric, July 27, 2010 "Unsafe at Any Meal," New York Times

[7] Kongs, Jennifer, August 19, 2010 "Food Safety Modernization Act Controversy for Small Farms"Mother Earth News

[8] Managers amendment, FDA Food Safety Modernization Act

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