Title: America’s regulation of food policy from victim and consumer advocate perspectives
Biography: Darin Detwiler
The June 1, 1906 London Times Literary Supplement, in its review of Upton Sinclair’s novel The Jungle,declared that “The things described by Mr. Sinclair happened yesterday, are happening today, and will, happen tomorrow and the next day, until some Hercules comes to cleanse the filthy stable.”In order to create food policy reform in every country, ‘Hercules’ can be found in the voices and in the actions of consumers and those who work in the food industry. Since the 1993 E.coli outbreak that sickened over 650 people and killed four young childrenin the Pacific Northwest (viewed by food experts as the “9/11” of the food industry), some 60,000 Americans have died due to further outbreaks of foodborne pathogens. Currently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) isare finalizing rules in the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the first major legislation since the 1940s. However, the World Health Organization looks atcontinuing outbreaks and recalls in America’s food supply as indicators of weaknesses in global food security and as a possible vehicle for terrorism. Policymakers depend on a true cost of disease and, thus, should listen to those whose lives have been forever changed due to problems with food safety and security.Unfortunately, not all participants in this democratic process are free from barriers to participation. But without the echoes of needless pain and tragic loss, the human factor will become lost in the sea of numbers used by the food industry, insurance companies, and legislators.
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