keeping the gears oiled is a new column centered around the health and well-being of humanrobots.

Nearly 48million people get sick, are hospitalized, or die from foodborne diseases each year in America. With constant recalls, e coli outbreaks, and meat industry horror stories it is apparent that our industrialized food realm needs some oversight and protective measures instituted for the health of American people (one of many industries needing some desperate regulation in this country).

Hence the reason for the Food Safety Modernization Act, which was signed into law early this year. It’s main goal is to prevent food safety problems before they even occur—which should be the goal of our healthcare system, environmental policies, and financial regulations as well. Over the years it has been apparent that the FDA has reacted to outbreaks/recalls too late, leaving people ill or dead. The law also creates higher standards for food companies and gives the FDA actual fangs to enforce new laws and regulate the food the companies process (yes process because the majority of our food is definitely not natural). And no, this is not being overbearing on food companies and expecting them to do too much, because this is about our food system, which should be one of the most overseen aspects in our society because the output goes directly into our bodies.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost of implementing the Food Safety Act would be $1.4 billion over five years—that’s a small price tag to ensure healthier food, especially compared with that of air conditioning costs our military racks up yearly in Iraq and Afghanistan ($20.2billion). But the budget deficit has pulled the breaks on the wheels of change on the road to safer food in this country when the House cut the FDAs budget by $285million last week. The FDA has once again been defanged by the leaders of this country saying, “There will be a significant delay in implementation of the new Food Safety Modernization Act (including the law’s nineteen priority areas, especially import oversight, training, and inspections).”

Just when we think there is dawn for a new day in food health it is stymied by officials looking out for the interests of the very companies the FDA would be able to regulate. Because it is unAmerican to police a small business. Even at the cost of our own health, politicians and food processors (among other industries) don’t get that for capitalism to work there must be a modicum of policies and regulations set forth by a government, because if not corporations run rampant in amassing profits and lose the thought of doing things in the best interest of the consumer. Expect even more than those 48million to contract foodborne illnesses in the US this year…