Following the recent election, there have been rumblings in the U.S. senate about the potential outcomes of the pending Food and Drug Administration Food Safety Modernization Act, which could be approved as soon as this week.
The bill is intended to help provide safer food and more accountability from food companies in the United States. While detractors of the bill feel that it might give the U.S. government too much authority over the public’s right to produce and transport food, the bill has the potential to impact consumers in a positive way.
Just a few weeks ago, the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement saying that meat and milk from cloned animals is as safe as their non-cloned counterparts. I don’t know about you, but this issue still does little to alleviate my concerns over the immediate and longterm effects of consuming cloned food. The government did say that it would not yet release cloned food into grocery stores. At least not yet right now. Hmmmm……
The United States has been reporting for the past couple of years, on the dangerous levels of mercury contained in certain fish, most notably, tuna. In high concentrations, this metal can cause very serious brain damage which is why pregnant and nursing women and children are often recommended to severly limit their intake of fish known to contain mercury.
Last week, The New York Times reported that eight of 44 pieces of tuna sampled from restaurants all over the city contained levels of mercury that meet the Food and Drug Administration’s measure for taking the fish off the market completely. That’s scary stuff, especially when sushi restaurants are almost as ubiquotious as pizza joints. Well, maybe they are not at that level of popularity yet, but we’re getting close.
Having been pregnant myself, I still find myself adhering to most of the restrictions that pregnant women are supposed to follow in regards to diet (no raw fish, no unpasturized food or beverages, no alcohol and no caffeine). Why? Because I feel that these restrictions, which are for the benefit and safety of the woman’s health and her baby’s, say something about the unsafety of our own food supply, or at least the unknowns of the food that stocks are grocery store shelves. And I care too much about my health and my longevity to give in to a passing craving for a piece of tuna sashimi.