Saturday, November 6, 2010

DC - University Food Police Ready to Strike Again

The two government agencies and Cornell University on Thursday announced a three-year, $1.15 million partnership to compile and share information about the safest ways of growing and packing produce.

The Produce Safety Alliance’s mandate includes launching a website to distribute its findings and setting up an educational network to spread knowledge of good agricultural practices.The alliance will be based at Cornell, home to a nationally regarded agriculture standards program.

FDA already has issued non-binding guidance for tomatoes, leafy greens and melons, so the industry already has some idea of agency thinking on safety standards that might go into a rule, Gilmer said.

Egg, juice and seafood producers already operate under industry-specific rules.

That kind of rule-making may take on increasing importance in the food safety arena. Legislation that would overhaul the nation’s food safety laws has been stalled in the Senate for a year, and prospects for passage in a lame duck session are unclear at best, leaving administrative action as the main route to bolstering the food safety system.


Cornell runs multi-million dollar agricultural programs. Isn't there a conflict of interest for industry insiders to be creating regualtions for their own industry. Who is going to oversee the process to make sure government is NOT captured by some to keep others out.

Is this a way for industry insiders to reduce the competition posed by locally grown farmers with farmers markets and coops booming around the country.

The problem in the food industry and epidemics were with the big suppliers not the farmers. Is an overhaul of regulations necessary or is it a guise for the Federal Government and Universities to take more control over America's food supply?

If legislation to overhaul the nation's food safety laws is stalled in the Senate, what right does the FDA (and Cornell) have to circumvent the legislative process. FDA implements the rules and regulations enacted by the senate. It does not create it's own regulations -- that would be an abuse of power.,0,2754791.story

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