The Food and Drug Administration deserves any rotten tomatoes thrown its way in the wake of the latest food safety scare, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).
All of this is unnecessary, as CSPI attorney Sarah Klein sees it.
"Since 2006, CSPI has been urging FDA to require all farms that feed the American public to have written food safety plans, but the FDA has not done that," Klein said. "Instead, the agency and the Bush Administration rely on voluntary, and obviously ineffective, industry programs.
The result is yet another produce outbreak sickening consumers and dealing another setback to another important industry, which includes many growers who have implemented food safety measures, Klein said.
"Consumers can't afford to risk their health by eating tainted produce, and they can't afford the blow to their wallets when FDA tells them to throw out what may actually be safe food because the agency can't figure out the precise source of the contamination," she said.
Klein said trying to track down contamination after the fact isn't getting the job done.
"Process Controls & Performance Standards to Prevent Outbreaks and Recalls
The heart of a modern food safety system lies in preventing – not merely responding – to food safety problems. Mandatory process controls, coupled with government-enforced performance standards, should be the central features of a new system. These systems can be used from farm-to-table and with both domestic and imported foods. " Read more