Thursday, May 14, 2009

Food safety quick links

President Obama's Food Safety Working Group held its first open listening session yesterday. For public comments, there is a Twitter hashtag and a Facebook page.

At the session yesterday, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack said food safety will be an administration priority. Such statements are typically bland. I'll just quote a couple points that might generate more interesting discussion.
-- As many people know first hand, in this economy we do not have unlimited resources. Nor can we simply pass higher food production costs onto struggling consumers. We must ensure that we are allocating our food safety resources effectively and efficiently. That means focusing the most attention on the products that have the most potential to cause harm.

-- The safety of a product should not be determined by where it originated. We live in a global community and by working more closely with our partners around the world we can make sure that the food the US is importing is as safe as the food we are exporting.
NPR says the nominee for FDA Commissioner, Dr. Margaret Hamburg, may finally be on her way to a Senate confirmation vote. A few days earlier, Marion Nestle asked, "Why can’t Congress approve her appointment right away and send her off to work? Don’t you think something is seriously wrong with a political system that holds food safety hostage to partisan politics?"

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