In the wake of the latest salmonella outbreak in peanut butter products, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is calling on President Obama and Congress to “bring the food safety program at the Dept. of Health and Human Services into the 21st century.”
“This latest outbreak proves again that FDA is woefully inadequate to the task of protecting American consumers from unsafe food. It presently inspects low risk peanut butter plants rarely, or not at all, leaving the job to state inspection agencies.” – CSPI
The organization stated that because of the long shelf life on the peanut products, the current outbreak that has already sickened hundreds of people has the potential to sicken and kill many more if the FDA does not act effectively to remove the products from the food system. The peanut butter recall affected products made with peanut paste and peanut butter made by the Peanut Corporation of America, and that ingredient is found in ice cream, cookies, cakes, and other baked goods.
CSPI also believes that because there is no safety expert in charge of both the policies and the enforcement of inspections, the needed changes will not happen.
One bill sponsored by Representative Rosa DeLauro would create a new Food Safety Administration at HHS, bringing the different elements together and putting an expert in charge.
“President Obama promised a “government that works.” When it comes to food safety, fixing FDA’s food safety program is an example of a “shovel ready” regulatory reform that could be done quickly and that would bring real benefits to American consumers.” – CSPI
Image: nathanborror at Flickr under Creative Commons License
Shaping Youth says
Glad you caught this one, Derek. CSPI has been a thorn in the side of the FDA for a long time, and MJ uses some prickly methods to turn up the heat on the feds, but it sure seems to work!
Which reminds me, have you seen CSPI’s “Eating Green” calculator? Fun little gizmo I use with kids to demo the ‘choices’ of diet and its impact on the health of the eco system (and um, bodily system too!)
Craig Smith says
I actually got salmonella during the last outbreak. I never got treated for it, half because I couldn’t afford all the doctor’s visits, and because the ones I could afford were full of incompetent doctors. They actually lost one of the samples I gave them, and that’s when I gave up and lived through it.
You have no idea how much things suck until you’ve had salmonella whilst you’re in high school. It’s no fun at all. The only positive thing that came out of it, is now when I get a cold, I’m really neutral about it, because “it’s not as bad as salmonella!”
Dangerous thinking, that is.
Uncle B says
Understand this: The man charged with negligence in the tainted peanut butter affair did no wrong under the law – The law of incorporation makes him solely responsible to the shareholders and he is sworn to make them a profit – at all costs! He may have killed a few folks getting things done, collateral damage happens, but he never wavered and remained completely faithful in protecting the profits of the share holders his bounded duty under the law. The only votes that count in America today are the votes at the shareholders meetings, Just look at the actions of the FDA! the rest, all of it, is political sham -propaganda for the masses, false ideology served up in the flag or on a soldiers body, or in the countries name, or in the King’s service – it is all the same, it is all balderdash designed to sidetrack the peonies and obfuscate the truth! Anyone who thinks otherwise deserves a rusty Ford, and will get it right up the soft spot, deliverance style every time they turn around. This is Capitalism at its finest hour, it has trapped the richest, most democratic country in the world and raped and sodomized it to perfection! America, Wall Street as your molester, Bush and the neo-cons as accomplices, you have been through the most violent rape of our times! And you know what? Turn over again and grease up baby, the Chinese and the rest of the Asian hordes are standing in line for their turn! Last Call America, Get your heads out of your pot and cocaine filled asses and stand up for yourself, or be trammeled, raped, molested and pillaged by the countries standing line for a piece of the action! Change the basic laws of incorporation or die by them, Your move!