Each year, an estimated one in four Americans will get sick from tainted food and about 5,000 will die, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed strong, bipartisan food-safety reform legislation in July 2009. But the U.S. Senate still hasn't acted. As we head into summer, one of the most dangerous times of the year for foodborne illness, experts are concerned that we're not protected.
We can't afford to wait any longer to strengthen our food-safety system. Send a letter to your senators urging them to pass strong food-safety legislation!
At this time of year, the stakes are even higher for contracting a foodborne illness. The bacteria that make people sick thrive in warmer weather, the time when all of us like to go outside and enjoy meals such as picnics and barbeques. These meals include some of the riskiest foods regulated by the FDA -- like lettuce, cheese or tomato on our burgers or fresh berries with ice cream. American families should not have to worry about the safety of these foods during the summer months or any time of the year.
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I implore you to urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring S.510, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, to a vote. It's been nearly one year since the House overwhelmingly passed comprehensive bipartisan food-safety legislation and more than six months since the Senate Committee on Health Education Labor & Pensions unanimously approved S. 510.
Last year, Americans were in the throes of a Salmonella outbreak linked to peanut products from the Peanut Corporation of America (PCA). In response to that outbreak, President Obama and leaders from both parties called for action but, one year later, we are still waiting for Congress to enact FDA food-safety legislation containing the types of provisions that would have prevented the PCA outbreak.
S. 510 is a good, bipartisan bill that includes many key components necessary to reform the way the FDA regulates food safety and must be brought to the floor for a vote in the next few weeks before time runs out. In addition, I urge you to oppose any amendment that would threaten passage of this important piece of legislation or undermine its public health protection.
As in any significant reform movement, many have suffered to bring us to this point. Unfortunately, the brunt of foodborne illness is carried on the shoulders of the most vulnerable: the unborn, pregnant women, children, the elderly and the seriously ill. You can honor these victims by helping to pass this bill.
Thank you in advance for taking action to move S.510 to a vote.
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