food

USDA protocols for handling food contamination are inadequate

Wednesday, April 07, 2010 by: Ethan Huff
Tags: USDA, food contamination, health news

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(NaturalNews) Most people are aware that the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) handles food contamination outbreaks by removing the tainted product from the market and working to identify the source of contamination. When it comes to tainted products that have not yet reached consumers, however, the agency's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) could care less about investigating the source and cause of contamination.

Every time there is an outbreak, demands for increased regulation, food irradiation, and a host of other illogical solutions flood the airwaves and newspaper headlines. Politicians and the media begin their tirades about how regulatory agencies like the FDA and USDA need more power in order to properly ensure the safety of the food. None of them ever mention the fact that these agencies already have the ability to effectively regulate but are failing to do so because they are largely corrupt and wholly inept.

One would think that when the FSIS identifies a contaminated product, it would perform due diligence by investigating the source and cause of contamination, as well as whether or not other products from the same source are contaminated as well. Instead, the agency simply stops the item from reaching consumers and closes the case. Such a careless approach is likely one of the reasons why contaminated food reaches consumers.

"We're paying so much money for the (testing) program, and it's not being used to protect the public to the best of its ability," explained Donna Rosenbaum, executive director of Safe Tables Our Priority, a food safety group based out of Northbrook, IL.

According the USDA, the reason why it does not conduct full investigations on contaminated products that have not yet reached consumers is that the risk is low. However, food safety advocates believe that it is the agency's responsibility to perform full investigations on all outbreaks, regardless of whether or not the product in question has reached consumers.

Full investigations would likely reveal things like unsanitary conditions at industrial processing facilities that are also contaminating other nearby agricultural operations. Due diligence by the USDA would also expose the failure of the industrial food system that is not only destroying small-scale, family farming operations but tainting the food supply both directly and indirectly.

Considering all the money that flows between industry and the nation's regulatory agencies and the revolving door politics, it is hardly a surprise that both the USDA and FDA are failing at their duties. If these agencies truly protected consumers, they would not bite the hand that feeds them.

Sources:

FSIS Curious, Not Too Curious - Food Safety News

The Volcker Rule in Food Safety - CommonDreams.org

Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) - The United States Department of Agriculture

About the author

Ethan Huff is a freelance writer and health enthusiast who loves exploring the vast world of natural foods and health, digging deep to get to the truth. He runs an online health publication of his own at http://wholesomeherald.blogspot.com.

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