The incidence rate of food-borne illness in the United States is dramatically lower than previously estimated, according to findings reported Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The new data thoroughly refute the misleading claims of alarmists advocating for vastly expanding federal regulation of the food supply.

According to the new research published in the current edition of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, some 16 percent of Americans experience some form of food-borne illness annually—compared to the previous estimate of 25 percent. Best of all, the new analysis has lowered the number of deaths related to food-borne illness from 5,000 a year to 3,000 annually—a difference of 40 percent.

The previous figures cited by the CDC originated from estimates compiled in 1999. The new figures, employing data from 2000 to 2008 and better statistical methods, represent “the most accurate picture yet” of food-borne illness, agency officials said.

All of which is very good news for us all. It also is particularly useful to counter the misinformation enveloping pending legislation that would grant the Food and Drug Administration control over virtually all aspects of food production, from farm to table.

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