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Friday, March 20, 2009

Peanut Salmonella and FOOD SAFETY, FDA Apparently has very little power over the conduct and practices of food suppliers IN THE UNITED STATES.

Safety of Food Supply 2nd meeting by the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee over the Peanut Salmonella outbreak revealed several interesting things. 9 people died from salmonella that was apparently linked to the recent peanut salmonella contamination.

The FDA has little power to investigate companies such as PCA (peanut corporation of America) peanut processing plant. Corporations
that sent their own quality control food inspectors to PCA and found the conditions deplorable, kept their discoveries "in house" and did not share the results with anybody else.

PCA was required to conduct their own investigation, hired a private company to do it, and magically received an A+ rating along with a certificate proclaiming PCA as a company in excellent standing.

John Dingall, a congress person from Michigan, took a swipe at the Bush administration by stating in the last 8 years nothing was done to improve the FDA's ability to prevent what happened at PCA.

I kind of wonder what the Clinton administration did in the area of food safety. I could see the issue being lost during Bill Clinton's first term in office because of the attempt at healthcare reform, two Republican led congressional shut downs over the budget, and then the Republicans contract with America. During the second term, Bill Clinton's hands were tied his final two years while Republicans witch hunted him.

Prior to Bill Clinton there was 12 years of Republican rule so probably more food safety inactivity could be found. Yet here we are in 2009 and food companies that violate health and safety practices are required to pay for their own investigation. It seems like the less money they spend, the less will be found "wrong", and that is exactly what happened in this instance.

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