From The Atlantic: The massive egg recalls have so dominated the news that it's hard to talk about anything else.
For one thing, FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg took to the tube yesterday and appeared on three morning shows:
"We need greater abilities to trace back products to their source," Hamburg told NBC's "Today"
show this morning. "We need better abilities and authorities to put in
place these preventive controls and hold companies accountable."
She pointed out that it is now one year after the peanut butter recall
prompted calls for increased regulation, but the FDA still has limited
authority to order recalls, among other things.
What she did not say, is that the Senate continues to tie the FDA's
hands by not passing S. 510, the food safety bill. Fortunately, other commentators (besides me) are making that point loud and clear:
With elections looming, Washington insiders saw little chance that the
Senate would complete the bill this fall - until now. The recall of
about a half-billion eggs in a salmonella scare may have given new life
to the legislation....At the moment--even with salmonella eggs-the FDA
can't force a company to take its products off the market. (If an egg
producer violates safety standards, the FDA does have authority to
divert shell eggs to a pasteurization process, which egg producers would
Consumers are reminded that properly storing, handling and cooking eggs
should help prevent food-borne illness. The Egg Safety Center and the
Food and Drug Administration recommend that eggs should be fully cooked
until both the yolks and the whites are firm, and consumers should not
eat foods that may contain raw or undercooked eggs.
Wouldn't it be nice if this group also said: "Producers are reminded
that properly taking care of hens and diligently following food safety
plans should help prevent food-borne illness. The Egg Safety Center
urges egg producers to immediately implement the FDA's new regulations
for preventing Salmonella that went into effect on July 9."
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