Problems with food safety
After recalls of millions of pounds of hamburger, tainted seafood and all sorts of problems with e-coli in spinach and other fresh greens, American consumers are recognizing that their food supply is no longer the envy of the world. That recognition is evidenced by the Food Marketing Institute survey showing a decline in confidence over food safety among American consumers from 82 percent to 66 percent. One reason for this decline is corporate-friendly rules which, for example, do not require testing labs or importers to report a failed safety test. The results are reported only to the importer who paid for it--which is then free to send the tainted foodstuff to a different, less reliable lab, for approval. The FDA never learns of the failed test or concern over the imported product .
Concern over issues such as this have lead the Food Marketing Institute's 1500 members to petition the Bush Administration to adopt new, more reliable rules and to stop coddling importers who put profit ahead of health and safety. Perhaps with the FMI's influence, the Republicans will re-join the effort to maintain the safety of the American food supply.