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When more than 600 people got sick and nine died from salmonella poisoning in peanut butter earlier this year, Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro, a longtime advocate for better food safety, wanted to take action. In February the Democrat from Connecticut introduced the Food Safety Modernization Act, which offers some solutions.
Currently the FDA is responsible for the safety of 80 percent of our food supply as well as for regulating drugs and devices. It's too much for one beleaguered agency. She proposes splitting food oversight into a new agency called the Food Safety Administration. The FSA would have its own commissioner, priorities, and budget.
If you agree this makes sense, write to your Congressperson. "Together, we can begin a new movement that puts public health first," she says. "It is about time."
Originally published in Ladies' Home Journal, May 2009.