FDA makes Keystone Cops look competent PDF Print E-mail
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Saturday, 12 July 2008 17:41

keystonecops.jpgWith over a thousand, yes one thousand, cases of Salmonella Saintpaul being reported, the Keystone Cops, also known as the FDA, have finally decided to inspect shipments from Mexico for the bacteria. Actually, it would be an insult to the Keystone Cops to compare them to the FDA. At least the Keystone Cops were a team of actors portraying a group of incompetents (btw, if you haven't seen a Keystone Cops clip, check one out here),the FDA on the other hand are supposed to safeguard the U.S. food supply and are really inept.

The FDA originally believed tomatoes to be the culprit but now have admitted that other produce may be the source including cilantro, jalapeƱo peppers, serrano peppers, scallions and bulb onions. At the onset, the investigation seemed to intentionally ignore imports and focus on domestic sources. Just to put the current regulations in perspective less than 1% of all food that is imported into the U.S. is inspected which includes locations such as Mexico, China and India. Even the United Fresh Produce Association, which is a trade group,is now asking for federal safety regulations to help alleviate consumers' fears. Assuming the FDA does enact stricter controls, this is yet another example of a government agency implementing changes after the damage is done.

It is also important to recognize that the strain of Salmonella that is causing these illnesses is rare: Salmonella Saintpaul. Given this specific strain, the FDA should be aggressively pursuing the source in all possible locations including exports. Like the Keystone Cops, the FDA are bumbling their way through this crisis seemingly looking everywhere else except the most obvious spot. The FDA had developed a "safe list" for sources of red tomatoes that are supposedly Salmonella free, however given their track record to date can the list really be trusted.

Stay tuned my fellow germaware for the next installment of the FDA's Salmonella show. Although the Keystone Cops are easy to enjoy for their exaggerated frivolity, the situation with our food supply is no laughing matter. Stay safe, stay healthy and stay GermAware.



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Comments (5)add
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written by Mike @ Celtophilia , July 15, 2008
It really is unbelievable how long this has been allowed to continue. Back when the first cases were reported, I honestly thought that the infection was probably over, and we were only hearing about stuff that had been brought in in the weeks before. Now that it has dragged out like this, though, it really is making people think about what they're buying. I'm glad I have a garden of my own.
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written by Lee , July 16, 2008
While I would agree that the FDA has policies and practices which a laughable at best and dangerous at worst, your comments assume that the FDA has sufficient resources to handle a large scale inspection effort. Which they do not. Like many agencies, the FDA is woefully undermanned to be able to perform the tasks they are charged with. That means that unscrupulous suppliers are able to get away with short cutting precautions that should be taken as a matter of doing business in the produce industry. But instead, the government agency is blamed for not being able to force businesses to take precautions they should be taking without be legislated to do so.
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written by Ethan Nobles , July 20, 2008
The problem with the FDA -- like virtually every arm of the federal government -- is that it is slow to react and driven by a bureaucratic logic that makes no sense outside of the limited world in which it was conceived. So, we're left with an FDA that primarily chases shadows as people get sick.

Sad, really.

http://naturalhawg.blogspot.com
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written by mikey777 , July 27, 2008
Ya know, when that E-Coli showed up in the raw spinach, it seemed like the FDA was all over it. Now that this whole salmonella thing is going on, they just can't seem to find the culprit. How convenient.

I think they're stalling because prices for produce are so cheap in foreign countries, and they don't want to damage that relationship by pointing a finger. Then we'd have to buy local produce and actually support the American economy. Heaven forbid we put America's well being over profit.

http://shiftworkersunite.com
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written by OwenMorgan , August 26, 2011
Various people in the world take the mortgage loans from various banks, just because that is simple.
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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 16 July 2008 16:35 )