Nonsense: F.D.A. Offers Broad New Rules to Fight Food Contamination

Multi-billion dollar-costing regulatory overkill that will accomplish little. Wash and properly cook food that you purchase from trusted manufacturers and vendors.

“A big question to be resolved is whether Congress will approve the money necessary to support the oversight. President Obama requested $220 million in his 2013 budget, but Dr. Margaret Hamburg, commissioner of the F.D.A., said ‘resources remain an ongoing concern.’… The agency estimated that it would cost large individual farms as much as $30,000 a year to comply with the new rules, and the food manufacturing industry as a whole as much as $475 million a year. It said it would finance the regulations in part from savings within its budget and from fees for things like reinspections, which Congress has already authorized.” [NYTimes]

About these ads

6 responses to “Nonsense: F.D.A. Offers Broad New Rules to Fight Food Contamination

  1. “New safety measures might include requiring that farm workers wash their hands, installing portable toilets in fields and ensuring that foods are cooked at temperatures high enough to kill bacteria.”

    Really? These are not already in place? What idiot has farm workers not washing their hands and using a portable toilet? Who undercooks food? They make thermometers for that.

    How will personal injury lawyers make a living if we make food safer? I see job loss here……I doubt lawyers are going to want to change to inspectors, which will have lots of openings if one seriously wants to enforce this.

  2. Surveillance and identification of foodborne illnesses have increased since the CDC first begun collecting data in 1973 and FoodNet Surveillance system was begun in 1996. As the CDC noted, caution is especially important when comparing raw 2011 data as it also made significant changes since 1999 in its methodology, reporting and surveillance in order to identify more cases. But that doesn’t mean foodborne illnesses have increased. They haven’t.

    In fact, the CDC (in its latest data and methodology report) notes that the percentage of illnesses estimated to be foodborne related since 1999 have dropped by nearly half, going from a total of 76 million deaths in 1999 to 47.8 million in 2011.

    So, we have about 3,000 deaths from food-related illnesses. That sounds like a lot to a gullible populace, but it’s an incredibly small number given the population. In comparison, about 25,000 people die from falling down, but no sane person would advocate a new federal bureaucracy to regulate walking. Foodborne-related deaths in 1900 were 142.7/100,000 people, which equates to nearly half a million people today. We have the safest food in the history of our country and deaths from foodborne illness are less than 1/100 of what they were just a few generations ago.

    According to the Washington Times [http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/4/fda-proposes-sweeping-new-food-safety-rules/print], this new food modernization act will cost an additional half a billion dollars a year to implement — costs that will result in even higher food prices.
    But, no one is looking at the downsides of these new regulations and the costs to everyone: How higher food prices will harm most Americans, many of whom are already struggling to feed their families, elderly on fixed incomes, those out of work, etc. How this will hurt and jeopardize farmers and food producers. How government agencies and oversight will expand to enforce these new regulations and cost taxpayers even more.
    So what’s behind the food modernization act? CSPI, Consumer Union and a list of special interest groups, many with a long history of opposing modern food production and scaring people with all sorts of junkscience about dangerous foods and ingredients.

  3. Correction: that’s 76 million cases, not deaths, in 1999.

  4. GoneWithTheWind

    3000 deaths may be small considering our large population. Deaths from so-called assault rifles is under 200 a year and yet Democrats are considering dramatic legislation to usurp the constitution. I guess it all depends on what your agenda is.

    • ANY number of deaths is too many if you are trying to create a government
      that pretends to be a defender of the people. The more dramatic the death, the better. Airplane crashes demand the FFA take action and protect people. Car crashes not so much–right now, the government is more worried about MPG than deaths per auto owner. In the 70′s or so, the safety was the issue. It’s pretty simple to shift from safety in the car to “we’re all going to die if we keep burning fossil fuels”. You can make numbers up for that. :)
      It’s all about control.

  5. After looking at the comments from NY Times readers, I realize how the IQ of their readership has slipped. None of them has a clue about public health or Govt. inspections. They confuse safety with political agenda items such as high fructose corn syrup, water for frcaking and about anything else you can think of.

    On a first look, the regulations codify what FDA has been telling the food industry for at least 50 years. In my many decades of preparing program budgets at FDA, the first thing you realize is that Congress micromanages nearly every cent FDA spends. If the regulations don’t have the staff or resources you know where to put the blame.

    Way too much of FDA’s budget goes to headquarters personnel (GUESS WHO PLANS THE BUDGETS) and if anything is left the field Inspectors (Consumer Safety Officers & Import Inspectors) are allocated what is left.

    T. Brown

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s