Spinach Growers were warned of risks in 2005

This is the kind of information that makes me upset on so many levels. From the San Fran Chronicle:

In November 2005, the FDA sent a letter to growers, packers, processors and shippers warning them to improve produce safety.

“In view of continuing outbreaks,” the agency wrote, “we encourage firms to consider modifying their operations accordingly to ensure that they are taking the appropriate measures to provide a safe product to the consumer.”

This makes me angry for two distinct reasons:

  1. Had the warning been heeded, it could have prevented people getting ill (not to mention prevented the economic losses).
  2. It shows how little authority the FDA has in regard to food safety. When confronted with Foodborne illnesses, the best they can do is offer suggestions. Talk about your toothless agencies. What a joke.

We’re on day 6 of this mess, and I think it’s safe to say that it’s been mishandled every step of the way, from the farm(s) responsible for the outbreak to government’s response.

Thanks to Marc

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