"Eric Schlosser's book "Fast Food Nation" and the Oscar-nominated documentary "Food, Inc." he coproduced jolted Americans into thinking critically about where the food on their plates comes from. It's only fitting that this influential author has fired the latest salvo in the fight to save the most important food-safety legislation in several generations: the Food Safety Modernization Act, which is bogged down in the Senate and facing an uphill battle to get to a floor vote before the end of the year.
Writing recently in the New York Times, Schlosser sounded a dramatic alarm by noting that the annual national death toll from foodborne disease -- about 5,000 -- is about the same as the total number of Americans who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2003. In a follow-up with a Star Tribune editorial writer this week, Schlosser added: "Most of the food that most Americans eat is being produced by large agribusiness firms -- and, increasingly, being imported from overseas. The federal government needs the authority to hold those companies responsible for the safety of the food they sell..."