Congress Gets Serious About Food
While the year in food unfortunately includes several high-profile foodborne illness outbreaks most notably the massive egg recall it ended on an up note. The first major upgrade to Food and Drug Administration since the Franklin D. Roosevelt Administration was approved by Congress in December. The new food safety bill should hold foreign food producers to U.S. standards, increase FDA inspections at high-risk facilities and hold food producers and big farmers accountable for preventing food-borne illness outbreaks before they happen. Congress managed to accomplish all this, while sparing many small local farmers from requirements that might have compromised their ability to keep organic food stocked at the local farmers' market. Unfortunately, Congress didn't pass an amendment that would have banned the controversial horomone-mimicking chemical Bisphenol A (BPA) from sippy cups, baby bottles and baby and infant food packaging.
Not only that, but Congress passed the first upgrade to school nutrition standards in 30 years, which will make school lunches healthier and more widely available to kids from struggling families, make junk food harder to buy on school grounds, and increase the amount of school food originating on local farms.