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on February 25, 2012

When will we ever learn? It’s kind of ridiculous at this point. Why don’t politicians understand that food regulation is good and necessary? Apparently, there is a program that is currently part of the USDA called the Microbiological Data Program (MDP), which is designed to test “fruits and vegetables for deadly bugs like E. coli, salmonella, and listeria.” Obama is proposing to cut the funding for this program (which, by the way, is the only one of its kind and is completely necessary for the health and safety of anyone who eats fruits and vegetables.) Instead of making the government responsible for this kind of food testing, the Obama administration is proposing more private, third party testers. I guess this whole third party thing hasn’t really worked out in the past, for example, when a third party testing company didn’t detect the listeria in cantaloupe that killed 34 people last year.

Here’s what I don’t understand. Why does the government keep trying to put the responsibility of ensuring public welfare on other businesses or organizations? I feel like I keep saying the same thing over and over in my blog entries, but it is the government’s responsibility to ensure that we all have what we need…34 people killed from a preventable pathogen? That doesn’t seem to be very effective to me. The government keeps passing on responsibility—in environmental protection, in food safety, in labeling policies—to third parties and its only hurting people. Really, what is it going to take to make the government recognize the importance of food regulation?


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