Friday, July 4, 2008

Food Safety

I caught Caroline Smith DeWaal from the CSPI on C-Span this morning talking about food safety. REALLY disturbing!! She, as the representative of the Center For Science In the Public Interest, and Chris Waldrop, director of the Consumer Federation of America's Food Policy Institute, are calling for emergency regulations from the FDA to force traceability programs on all producers and processes of produce. This, along with mandatory written food safety plans and increased enforcement powers will, in her opinion, prevent future food contamination outbreaks. If such emergency regulations get enacted they will effectively eliminate most small producers from the food system without making the food the consumer buys one bit safer. All such a system will do is make farmers take on all the legal burden of any future food contamination outbreaks that occurred. The outbreaks will still occurred because the traceability system is only activated after an outbreak has been detected. Threat of law suit and the burden of compliance with such a system will eliminate all but the biggest producers from the system. They will continue to outsource as much of their production over seas, further weakening our food system and putting us at greater risk for contamination, terrorism, and oil related food crisis.

If the CSPI and the CFA were truly interested in safer, better food reaching consumers they would be championing a local food system rather than pushing for regulations which will crush it.
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