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  • New Data Counters Half-Baked Claims of Food Safety Crisis

    The incidence rate of food-borne illness in the United States is dramatically lower than previously estimated, according to findings reported Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The new data thoroughly refute the misleading claims of alarmists advocating for vastly expanding federal regulation of the food supply.

    According to the new research published in the current edition of the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, some 16 percent of Americans experience some form of food-borne illness annually—compared to the previous estimate of 25 percent. Best of all, the new analysis has lowered the number of deaths related to food-borne illness from 5,000 a year to 3,000 annually—a difference of 40 percent.

    The previous figures cited by the CDC originated from estimates compiled in 1999. The new figures, employing data from 2000 to 2008 and better statistical methods, represent “the most accurate picture yet” of food-borne illness, agency officials said.

    All of which is very good news for us all. It also is particularly useful to counter the misinformation enveloping pending legislation that would grant the Food and Drug Administration control over virtually all aspects of food production, from farm to table.

    The most recent incarnation of the food regulation measure has cleared the House. Its fate in the Senate is shaky, however. It had been tucked within the 1,924-page, $1.27 trillion omnibus spending bill, but that’s been abandoned by Senate leadership. Whether it is taken up in another form before Congress recesses remains to be seen.

    Proponents contend that the costly regulatory scheme is based on “science.” But as the new CDC figures indicate, there’s nothing scientific about the presumption that regulatory action is needed to stem a supposed food safety crisis. In reality, beefing up the FDA’s powers would increase the size of government, increase paperwork and red tape, and increase food costs. But it wouldn’t increase food safety.

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    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    9 Responses to New Data Counters Half-Baked Claims of Food Safety Crisis

    1. George Colgrove, VA says:

      This example of federal ineptitude demonstrates that as we dump valuable financial resources in one federal agency for one purpose, other federal departments are blind to the findings. CDC needs to legitimatize itself with one set of findings that if taken as the truth would illegitimatize another federal department, namely the FDA. However, in order for the FDA to legitimatize itself it needs to come out with completely different findings.

      All this proves is that the federal government lies for its own benefit. If it were honest, we would not need a federally based CDC nor would we need a FDA. Both of these organizations can perfectly reside within the private sector as trade organizations with paying members from state governments, industry, academia, and private citizens. These organizations would then work for its paying membership and would be fully transparent. These organizations would be located in the private sector and have self-governance status. They would not need to lie, as their presence would be self-evident. In a political realm, their purpose and need is questionable.

    2. Bobbie says:

      According to the records, the over-protection of government isn't to protect, but to (metaphor) poison. The human body has an immune system that becomes resilient to most food-borne illnesses. The more protection FROM these, the weaker the immune system becomes with a potential for future crisis.

      Who knows what the hormones the government allowed to be put in food will do to us. Looking at chicken breasts, you'd think they had implants… unnaturally huge.

    3. Linda Pierucki, Mich says:

      The current food safety bill is simply typical government over-reach, forcing more regulations on small business to the benefit of certain large producers/contributors. There ARE a few things Congress could do to make food systems much safer at little cost. First would be to absolutely prohibit the co-mingling of imported and domestic product: the majority of serious food-borne illness in recent history can be traced directly back to facilities that import food products and co-mingle it with domestic product in warehouses and packing plants! Once cross-contamination occurs, either of product or equipment, it's easy to hide the fact that the original contamination was imported. . . and hide it they do! Little border inspection occurs and contaminated foodstuffs are very, very common from countries that do not practice sanitary farming techniques. Another would be to assure that truck drivers unloading and loading raw food products are afforded toileting facilities at warehouses and packing facilities . . .commonly, they are refused access to bathrooms or are ordered to use porta-pot-type outhouses without hand-washing accommodations.They are then expected to handle these food products with contaminated hands. Drivers continued complaints have fallen on deaf ears for YEARS! Third, govt inspectors already IN large agribiz production facilities such as hog and chicken factories need to be given broader inspection permissions. This could be solved by breaking down the barriers between USDA and FDA inspectors . .who often cannot inspect even obvious violations in an adjacent building on within the same facility. Fourth, more public health and school emphasis on basic cleanliness and food safety needs to be resumed. Until the 1970/80s, much emphasis was placed on hand-washing and 'germ control' in our public schools. . .this is no longer the case. Since home economics classes have disappeared, many students never learn basic food handling safety. Public Health departments also do far less outreach within risk populations such as young parents and the low income – where they used to emphasize basic food handling. Instead, our schools and public health facilities push the use of hand sanitizers but neglect hand washing, clean surface and proper temperature education among the public.The public is woefully uneducated in basic cleanliness as a means to food safety . . .why did we ever get away from that vital piece of education?

    4. johnb says:

      In comparison to the approx 300,000,000 Americans (300 million) even the larger figure is minuscule when figured as a percentage.

      People die from chocking ghat does not mean we need the Federal Government to regulate size of bite served by restaurants.

    5. John, Illinois says:

      If only one thing Wikileaks has proved, it is the total and absolute incompetence of the US Government to do the simplist of jobs it is constitutionally tasked to do, let alone actually "protect us" from anything.

    6. Barbara Russell, Kan says:

      If the RINO'S hold true, Collins, Snowe, Brown, Murkowske, Voinovich, Bennett,then they will bring up the Food Safety Act again, until they and the Democrats have their way. Mitch McConnell has got to tougher with these people.

    7. Robert, N.Y. says:

      Another POWER GRAB BY OBAMA being exposed as bogus, what else is new? He needs to be removed from office along with all his flinkies. Just read the last line, INCREASED GOVERNMENT AGAIN!!! and to no avail, that's the problem, worthless bill, thank God the damn omnibus got it's dick knocked in the dirt.

    8. Robert, N.Y. says:

      Can anybody explain to me how the Human Species managed to survive before the advent of the F.D.A? Dumb luck? I doubt it! Leep gov't out of you kitchen, it's bad enough that they're in your pocket real deep.

    9. Pingback: ARTI, India, Biogas from food waste – Ashden Award winner | Latest news on renewable energy and effective utilization

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