The website Gastronomalies notes that the penalties for violations of existing food safety laws would have been upped considerably under the bill. The downside of the measure was that it did nothing to regulate some of the more gruesome practices of factory farms--stun baths, chickens so fattened and immobilized they have heart attacks, cows in their own feces, and all the other horror messes documented in the film Food Inc and books like Fast Food Nation.
A lot of the complaints about the bill were procedural, too. It was being pushed too fast, critics said. Not enough time for amendments, they added. The episode is another reminder, as if we needed one, that even when there's a national consensus on an issue like food safety it's a long journey before there's actually legislation that makes a difference.
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