Saturday, September 23, 2006

WooHoo!! It’s National Food Safety Education Month

Al Meyerhoff and William B. Schultz wrote a good piece in the Washington Post entitled “Something’s Rotten in Food Oversight.” Read it. I don’t think you will be comfortable eating much on your plate—a sure way to help that diet along.

They write, “With the federal food safety system so inadequate, it’s particularly troubling that earlier this year the House of Representatives passed legislation to override state laws establishing food quality requirements that are more stringent than the federal standards.” I guess you Republican types will say we can’t or shouldn’t depend on the GOVERNMENT to protect us. Would you bring out your tired old mantra, “You have to rely on yourselves”? Or how about that backup one, “The industry is policing itself”?

I’d rather see more inspectors in the fields and processing plants, tougher regulations monitored by one federal agency over all food production facilities and someone to step up to the plate (pardon the pun). Now, this is a real issue that we should be concerned about.

While the government and agribusiness searches for the source of the E. coli, Nina Planck, author of “Real Food: What to Eat and Why” writes in the New York Times, “It’s the infected manure from these grain-fed cattle that contaminates the groundwater and spreads the bacteria to produce, like spinach, growing on neighboring farms.” Planck is an advocate for farmers’ markets and local food. She maintains that this particular strain of E. coli can be eliminated when cattle eat hay instead of the typical grain.

Mom or Dad may need to sanitize the cutting board, but Uncle Sam needs to ensure a safer food supply first.

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