The Los Angeles Times reports that a paper issued Wednesday by Trust for America’s Health in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has “called on the Obama administration to put someone in charge of safeguarding the food supply and to create a Food Safety Administration.” The report only adds “to the chorus seeking an overhaul of the nation’s food safety system,” according to the Times, as “calls for reform of the Food and Drug Administration have only become louder since the salmonella outbreak linked to peanut products late last year.” The groups behind the most recent paper call “for the FDA’s food program funding to double in the next five years, from $542 million in fiscal 2009.” According to Michael Taylor, a former FDA deputy and a professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services, “obsolete laws focus on reacting to problems rather than preventing them, and the agency is underfunded.”
Georgia’s top agriculture official defends state’s inspection process. The AP reported, “Georgia’s top agriculture officials on Tuesday defended the state’s inspection process at a legislative hearing called to address the salmonella outbreak traced to a Georgia peanut processing plant.” Terry Coleman said, “If a person intends to break the rules, unless you have somebody standing over that person from the time they get to work from the time they leave, there is no way to prevent that…and in this particular case we believe that somebody in the plant intended to break the rules or break the laws. All the inspections we could muster couldn’t prevent that.”
From the American Association for Justice news release.