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Food Safety Attorney Bill Marler one of Bar Association’s Top “Blawggers”

For nearly 20 years food safety attorney Bill Marler has been on a mission that is predicated on the simple idea that food should nourish us, not kill us.

In just the past two years, Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark, the nation’s leading law firm dedicated to representing victims of foodborne illness, has spent $500,000 of his own money to test meat for harmful pathogens in grocery stores, spoken about food safety in places as near as his hometown of Seattle to as far as Australia and China, launched a fast growing food safety news organization, pushed elected officials to overhaul food safety, petitioned the USDA to classify more strains of pathogenic bacteria as dangerous, and all the while has built on his reputation as a prolific blogger.

At the oddest hours, one can find Marler rattling off a post about topics like national food safety legislation, a food borne illness outbreak, the results of a hard fought lawsuit, or even the science behind raw milk. Often topics are controversial and result in long strings of reader responses, usually with Marler rebutting or responding with his trademark candor and wit.

“I enjoy the dynamism of blogging,” says Marler, “I like that my blog is a living thing that people (who agree with me or not) can weigh in on. My being able to start an intelligent food safety discussion at a moment’s notice is both fun for me and a highly valuable tool for increasing awareness.”

What’s even better news for Marler is that his blog is working. Marler Blog readership numbers have gone up significantly in the past year and for the second year in a row has been nominated as one of the American Bar Association’s top 100 Legal Blawgs (law blogs). Currently, the blog sits in second place in the torts category. And while this would be great news for most people, Marler has never been one for second place.

“I’m honored just to be recognized for this,” says Marler, “but the truth of the matter is I’m hoping readers will vote me into the number one position. I’m passionate about what I do and I think my work is important for society as a whole. If my blog is voted into first place, that’s another victory for food safety.”

This week Marler is hoping for another victory for food safety – a very big victory. He is headed to Washing D.C. to mediate E. coli cases, then set off on a whirlwind tour of the city, visiting elected officials, bureaucrats, and media to make one last appeal for the passage of landmark food safety legislation that is set to be voted on this week.

“I hope to be there to see it happen,” Marler recently blogged. “And, to cut my Christmas vacation short to watch the President sign the Bill into law. Is this Bill perfect? No, but it is a start to try and stem the tide of large-scale outbreaks that cost our economy billions of dollars and families incalculable pain and suffering. This is not the end, but the beginning of the end.”

Even if food safety legislation is passed this week, there will be lingering questions without immediate answers, certainly more debate, and, without a doubt, foodborne illness outbreaks will continue to happen in the future. If it is not, it could be a long time before we see similar legislation debated on the House and Senate floors. No one knows for certain what will happen, but one thing we do know is that Bill Marler will be blogging about it.


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