CARL AZUZ, CNN STUDENT NEWS ANCHOR: It's the most awesome day of the week, and we're glad you're spending part of it with CNN Student News. I'm Carl Azuz. You're in for 10 minutes of commercial-free headlines starting right this second.
First Up: Food Safety
AZUZ: First up, a proposal that could be the biggest overhaul of food safety laws in the U.S. in about 70 years. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a version of this bill a year ago. The Senate is expected to start looking at the issue when it comes back in session soon. A lot of this has to do with the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration. Brianna Keilar gives us a look at what's being considered.
BRIANNA KEILAR, CNN CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON, D.C.: The House and the Senate bill are different. But overall, here's sort of what it does. It would give the FDA direct recall power. You may not realize the FDA doesn't have this. The only thing they can directly recall themselves is baby food, and then they have to have industries go along with recalling their own stuff.
It would also put in place more food inspections. Right now, FDA inspectors may inspect a food producer only once every several years. It would increase that. And also, there would be better tracking of food-borne illness, but also contaminated products so that they could come off the shelves more quickly. All of these things, I know consumers are probably looking at and going, "OK, I see how that affects me." But the House bill is a lot harder on the industry when it comes to oversight and enforcement. The Senate bill is a little softer. So, there are some big differences here that would still need to be reconciled.
What is Salmonella?
AZUZ: All right. If the Senate passes its version of the bill, it would still need to be merged with the House's version before it could be put to a final vote. This legislation though is gaining some momentum from the recent egg recall that has caused a lot of concerns about salmonella. Dr. Sanjay Gupta explains more about that.
DR. SANJAY GUPTA, CNN CHIEF MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: I want to break down exactly what this is. It's a type of bacteria. It's common in the environment, and it can be on different types of food. This strain specifically, Salmonella enteritidis, is found in chickens. They can carry the bug or even pass it onto their eggs without getting sick themselves. They can be sort of carriers.
Now, if you get salmonella through contaminated eggs or meat, the bacteria goes to the lining of the small intestine. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and mainly it's going to be G.I., or gastrointestinal symptoms: cramps, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting. It can also cause fever and cause severe headache. One possible long-term complication, it can get into the joints and cause arthritis, and that can linger for months or even longer.
Mild or severe, most people are going to recover fully. But complications can be serious. Older people, young babies and people with immune problems are going to be most at risk.
In the worst case, the bacteria can get into the blood stream and cause a severe infection called sepsis. That's life-threatening, although with treatment, the fatality rate is still pretty low, about less than a tenth of a percent.
Salmonella makes about 1.3 million people sick every year. That's according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's neck and neck with campylobacter, another bacteria, the second most common food-borne illness. The most common, by far, is norovirus. That makes about nine million people sick every year. Big numbers. By contrast, E. coli only makes about 40,000 people sick. And botulism -- we talk about that a lot -- only causes about 50 or 60 cases total every year. Of course, those tend to be more severe, sometimes even deadly.
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