"When it comes to food safety, state lawmakers around the country seem to believe in the adage, if you want something done, you have to do it yourself.
Frustrated by the response in Washington to the recent spate of food-borne illnesses, state and local politicians are adopting tougher safety laws independent of federal rules. The worry, say some critics, is that a patchwork of regulations will emerge, creating costly and unnecessary hassles for food makers and distributors.
Georgia recently enacted legislation that gives food processors 24 hours to report internal tests that find tainted products. The state's peanut industry was hit hard after a widespread salmonella outbreak was traced to a processing plant in rural Blakely, Ga."
Similar actions are afoot in Idaho, Oregon, California, and at least a dozen other states.
Jane Zhang reports for the Wall Street Journal May 12, 2009.