Commentary: FDA and food safety

It's about time Congress beefed up the nation's food safety rules.

The House recently approved a bill, which President Obama supports, that would give the Food and Drug Administration more power to protect America's food supply. It now awaits action in the Senate.

The sooner the FDA's role can be expanded, the better.

Outbreaks of food-related illnesses are happening far too frequently, and there needs to be a better system to ensure public safety.

Food poisoning is serious. It's one thing to have an upset stomach. It's quite another to end up in the hospital or even the morgue.

Tainted meat and tainted produce often are culprits. But even processed goods can contain harmful pathogens.

Just last month, the Nestle company recalled its refrigerated cookie dough after a number of people reported getting sick after eating the dough raw.

Earlier this year, an outbreak of salmonella in peanuts resulted in the deaths of nine people and made hundreds of others ill, resulting in one of the largest product recalls in U.S. history. The tragedy later was linked to carelessness at a Georgia peanut company.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Tri-City Herald.