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Egg recall

FDA uses egg recall to demand more power, authority over food

Thursday, August 26, 2010 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
Tags: egg recall, FDA, health news

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(NaturalNews) Following the recall of more than half a billion commercially-produced eggs potentially tainted with salmonella, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now petitioning the U.S. Congress for more power and authority over food. Margaret Hamburg, FDA chief, recently pressed for laws to be enacted that would permit the agency to take a "preventive approach" in food safety endeavors.

According to reports and estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), roughly 1,300 people have been sickened by salmonella poisoning from eggs distributed by two mega-farms in Iowa, prompting a widespread egg recall. At this point, there are no reported deaths from the bacteria.

Ironically, the FDA already has the power and authority to regulate the food industry in a way that could have prevented this outbreak, but the agency has utterly failed to hold producers responsible for maintaining clean and safe facilities. For years, the FDA has permitted large commercial egg producers to run filthy operations without consequence.

Commercial egg production has continued to become more consolidated over the years as well. Many commercial flocks live in tighter, filthier conditions than they used to, which has caused more disease to spread. The two producers involved in the current egg recall, both of which operate egg production facilities that have been in violation of safety standards on numerous occasions, have been permitted to continue operating despite their atrocities.

"It's a horrible story. It could have been prevented. Everybody knew it was a problem, and nobody was willing to take action," explained Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition at New York University and author of several books on food safety and nutrition.

But instead of apologizing for its grave regulatory errors, the FDA actually had the audacity to ask for more power. The last thing the agency needs is more control. If anything, a massive reduction in FDA power is more fitting in light of the current dilemma.

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