Law For Food: The law affects what you eat. What you buy to eat affects the law.


History of the FDA
3 August 2007, 8:24 am
Filed under: FDA

I found this on the FDA website.  It’s a chronological list of FDA “milestones.”

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2 Comments so far
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Amazing that this time line doesn’t even mention the approval of genetically engineered foods! The lengths the government goes to in order to prevent Americans from finding out what’s in their food…

This is a particularly horrible “milestone”:

1914: “the government must show a relationship between the chemical additive and the harm it allegedly caused in humans”

The company doesn’t need to show it’s safe… the government needs to prove it’s harmful.

Comment by Mike

Hey Mike, thanks for reading!

In fairness, I have to say I’m not sure that what you describe is as horrible as the alternative. I’m not particularly proud of U.S. food and ag policy right now, but I am glad that the presumption is in favor of being able to buy and sell goods.

Consider how bad it would be for the U.S. food supply, and particularly for small, responsible producers, if you could only sell foods that you had proven were safe. You can be sure that the big food production companies would see to it that the rules in place favored mass production, mass sterilization, and so forth, and consumers who wanted to be able to buy real, living foods would have nowhere legal to go.

Mandatory testing fees would be a greater fraction of the costs to small producers and bio-diverse growers than they would to industrialized processors and monocultural farms (fewer products = fewer total tests run).

To my mind, the problem isn’t that the burden of proof lies with the government seeking to ban something, but that the government is less and less willing to shoulder that burden. Food-disparagement laws and borderline SLAPP suits (see McLibel or Cattlemen v. Oprah) make it harder for interested private individuals to take up this burden, either.

This is not to say that the free market is perfect. But I think it’s better than the alternative you propose, and in the case of food, I don’t think it’s accurate to call this a free market.

I am right with you on the approval of GMO foodstuffs. This should be widely known. The Ethicurean directed me to some information about Monsanto which gives me chills.

Thanks again for reading!

Comment by lawforfood




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