The paper "Power to Change People Lives" is a delightful example of a speech or presentation on politics. Dear Mr. Congressman, I hope this letter finds you in good health. Interestingly, I shall be talking about health over the next few minutes. Allow me. Over the last decade, there have been reports of food contamination by numerous pathogens, the most outstanding one being salmonella. The news reports increased tremendously in 2007, claiming that peanut butter was the affected product. However, with time, various news outlets and literature picked up the story, showing foods such as eggs and spinach having traces of salmonella as well.
In total, 400 salmonella cases occurred in 44 states. The source of these pathogens is usually animals. Whenever such pathogens infect food, they put the elderly, young children, and those not fully immunized at the highest risk. Different scholars have tried to demystify the source of these infections. Stakeholders and media establishments have joined in the fray as well. All of them have arrived at one conclusion: there are not enough checks and tests by the Food and Drug Agency (FDA) on food before it reaches the end consumer. The FDA's responsibility is to ensure this happens.
I have personally come across several online stories and some well-researched analyses suggesting that China, India, and Canada have been exporting medical drugs in tons over the past several years. An additional 150,000 companies ship food to the US every year. In 2009, Congress discussed a Bill, which culminated in the ratification of the 2010 Food Safety Modernization Act (FDMA), which Obama signed into law the following year. The Act gives the FDA the authority to recall foods they suspect to be contaminated.
However, their power does not extend to farmers, restaurants, and non-profit establishments in its current state. I listened to an interview in 2010 featuring Dr. Margaret Hamburg, an FDA Commissioner, in which she claimed that they did not have sufficient funds to carry out their mandate effectively. However, with the passing of the FDMA, the FDA received a financial boost. While I am sure many would celebrate such an idea, I do not feel that the FDA is doing enough.
Chinese drug imports are still at an all-time high, while large-scale food production continues to rise in magnitude and reach. Also, studies indicate that the prevalence of salmonella infections has remained somewhat constant, while those of E. coli have increased. Mr. Congressman, the solutions we have in place are not working. It does not make sense that people are becoming increasingly prone to such infections when the FDA has more money and authority. The health checkups are not satisfactory at all. Someone is sleeping at their job.
I propose that you seek legislation to strengthen the checks of both foods and drugs to ensure they are safe for human consumption. Americans should not be dying of food poisoning at this time when our technology is so advanced, and we have so many tools at our disposal to curb the vice. I hope you take the contents of this letter seriously and change people’ s lives. I believe you have the power to do so, and you have my support in the process.