Archives for category: December 2010

Reading a bill or any legal document is difficult to understand for the average person. CNN’s “S.510: Food Safety Modernization Act-the basics” does a pretty good job in covering the basic information of the bill to understand what is going on in congress right now. The first thing you’ll see if you click on the embedded link is a picture of someone making eggs. The picture emphasizes the importance of reducing salmonella in eggs (which has been a huge issue this past year and has been negatively affecting consumer’s health) because it is a common food consumed by Americans. The article states key points about the bill. A feature at the bottom of the article, there is a Facebook “recommend” button. This allows the readers to further spread the message with a click of a button.

Another article in CNN titled “Senate Approves Long-Delayed Food Safety Bill” gives you an overview of why the bill was passed, how it was passed and what this bill now means. The most interesting thing about this article are the comments from the readers. From the previous blog post, “Salmonella: Media’s response to the Food and Safety Modernization Act (03 Dec 2010),” it can be seen that there are discrepancies between how the media covers the topic versus what the readers think of the government on this particular bill. The readers are voicing their negative opinions against the government and are disgusted with the government’s desire to control what the people eat. Commenters are joking amongst one another to be careful of what you grow in your own backyard. Also, questioning the purpose of passing the bill because Americans wont be able to afford the food with the possibility of the government expanding its funds to the FDA. This particular article has been Facebook recommended 2000 times. It is important that modern media targets Facebook, Twitter, and email forwards in order to spread their news coverage.

The video titled, “The Food, the Bad and the Ugly” (The Daily Show: video format) is of Jon Stewart in his Daily Show expressing his opinions of the bill. He recognizes that there are several attacks and backslashes against the bill that was passed. He provides the viewers with necessary facts and informs them of what the bill is about. He presents both side of the story. He sees why people are concerned if the bill becomes a law but also, in a light manner, he was excited with the fact that Congress was able to pass a bill.


The media’s coverage on this Act has been favorable. A blog written by April Fulton titled “Senate Passes Sweeping Food Safety Bill, House Up Next” can be found on NPR’s Health News. The writer starts out the blog in a jokingly manner that the bill sure took its time to get passed but is hopeful and eager for the bill to get passed in the House and eventually end up on the President’s desk as soon as possible. The blogger points out that there are still few hurdles to overcome in order for this bill to be enacted. She questions if the bill will be passed in the House because of the lack of enthusiasm shown by the Democrats in the House.

Senate passes food safety bill” written by Scott Wong in POLITICO share similar approving views as NPR blogger. The writer points out several reasons to why this bill was brought back onto the floor. First of all, it was important that the government officials took action of the increasing number of sickness and deaths caused by contaminations in food such as eggs, spinach, and etc. The reporter quotes a credible source in his article: Senator Majority Whip Dick Durbin who is the main sponsor of the bill. The writer assures the readers that the Food and Drug Administrations will have extended powers in order to protect the consumers from future sicknesses caused by contaminated food products.

More coverage on passing of this Act can be found easily surfing on the web. In Connecticut Watchdog, writer George Gombossy writes in his article titled “Food Safety Regulation Overhaul Passed By U.S. Senate” that this new bill will hopefully reduce the number of illnesses because of the food contaminations. He quotes Consumer Union that they are in favor of the bill and hopefully that this will be the next step in preventing serious outbreaks that we have been experiencing in the past.

The New York Times never fails to report on the latest issues. In their article, “Senate Passes Overhaul of Food Safety Regulations” written by Gardiner Harris and Willia Neuman, states that the bill will definitely help in giving more power to the Food and Drug Administration is hopeful that this will positively increase the regulation of food safety. However, the writers bring up the fact that even though there was a bipartisan support of the bill, in actuality, it can quickly die due to the bickering amongst the Senate and the House of Representatives. The new version of the bill would grant the FDA powers to handle the regulation of food safety and the agriculture. The New York Times goes into detail of who it would mostly affect and benefit from the newly Act and who would not agree with the revisions of the bill.

Update-December 4, 2010

It is interesting to see that the NYTimes changed few things about the article just after four days that it was written. The title of the article is now called, “Senate Passes Sweeping Law on Food Safety,” and has a picture of a Republican and a Democratic senator after the senate meeting. The NYTimes also provides a link to the Senate Role Call;┬áthis shows how each of the presented senators voted on the bill. There is also a map for visual image.

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