Breakdown in protecting consumers from unsafe food
The protection of American consumers from unsafe food sources has continued this year, despite politicians' promises to solve problems that were endemic in 2007.
With more of our food coming from abroad, particularly from poor third-world sources, with an anti-regulatory Administration in charge, the cash-strapped American government has proved inadequate to protect consumers from food-bourne illness. In the past few years, literally thousands of Americans have been poisoned by tainted hamburger, peanut butter, spinach, and fish and other seafood from Chinese farms. We are forced to twist the arms of our international allies to accept meat produced here because we refuse to allow growers to test their own meat for "mad cow" disease. Now, for the past 3 months, the government has been trying, without success, to identify the source of a rare form of salmonella that has made more than a thousand people ill.
First the culprit was thought to be tomatoes. Then the suspect was jalapeno peppers. Now, some suspect cilantro as the source. After three months of continuing illness and the disruption of numerous American food producers' business, we are no closer to solving the problem: in part because the Bush Administration has failed to implement the food-safety plan it unveiled last November but never installed.
Perhaps the next administration will be more consumer-friendly and less tied-up by its loyalties to large cash contributors. That is a fairly large and unwarranted assumption, however, and if we don't quit spending money like a drunken sailor in Iraq, while also eschewing governmental revenue (yes, taxes), no administration will be able to satisfy its burden of adequately monitoring and investigating the nation's food supply.