New FDA Food Bill

Jan 4. 2010 New FDA Food Bill is about to be signed into law by President Obama has small food producers, small farms, and backyard gardeners worried.

Does the bill exceed common sense when it comes to who is producing bad food products and does it unfairly eliminate “due process of the law” forcing small family owned farm and food producers to fight the FDA in the courts?  The answer is yes it does.

The bill which is apparently designed to : reduce or eliminate food borne illness of which 100 percent has been identified at large factory corporate farms as tainted foods.

Factory Farms Need Regular Inspections and Stiffer Regulations

The majority of contamination is at sloppy factory farms not the family farm and that is quite evident in last September’s egg salmonella outbreak of over 500 million eggs.  The eggs contained salmonella poison due to lack of standards, lack of regulations and lack of real inspections.  The United States Department of Agriculture gave Wright County Egg Corporation a clean bill of health in their inspection in April of 2010.

The farm was a disgracefully filthy farm full of manure, chickens were killed by banging their heads, and the owner had been arrested, charged and found guilty of many violations including Immigration laws.

Food borne illness is now common in larger  U.S. factory farms that affected peanut butter, The Peanut Corporation of America was found guilty of shipping tainted foods even to foreign countries. The corporate farms are giving America a bad name in food production world wide and the quality is questionable.

If this Food Safety overhaul is going to work, it should be geared tackling the larger producers not the smaller family farms and we will all see if the FDA can reduce the daily number of recalls of foods made in American factory farms. The FDA posts these warnings every day which indicates the number of tainted foods and warnings, but the public would have to go out of their way to find this information for themselves.

Simply posting recalls on a website does not ensure everyone will be notified.  With so many recalls the public is also numb to the fact that they are numerous.  The tainted food recalls on the FDA website include: vegetables, daily common foods, drinks, meats, chicken, pork products, processed foods and much more.

Practically all foods are now produced in a very unsanitary, cost cutting methods which endanger the final product and are high in contamination.  The smaller farm producer does not have the overhead due to  smaller production output and that fact in itself means the food is safer.  Small farms also are less likely to put out a bad product because it reflects on their reputation and they use more ethical methods of food production.

Tags: FDA Food Bill, Small farms, factory farms, Wright County Eggs, peanut butter recall, salmonella egg recall, Food production in the USA, Modernization Food Act, Food and Drug Administration, Obama administration, factory farm foods.

Editors Note

When you compare warnings posted on the FDA Food Recall Section of their website there is a disturbing difference in the warnings of products from Factory Farms and those of Organic Farms.

Typical of the FDA the stern warnings of the organic farm repeats the words: do not eat alfalpha sprouts but you do not see the same repetition on the Wright Country Egg Recall.

The problem is the unfair and discriminatory treatment the FDA puts upon with organic farms which are far cleaner, and reputable than larger corporate farms.  The wording in the Wright County Egg warning is far less emphatic.  Another problem is the FDA actually allowed Wright County to save millions of dollars because they approved the use of salmonella eggs to be “cooked” and used in commerical baking products as “broken eggs”.

This practice is very favorable towards large farm producers, and we doubt the FDA would have saved an organic egg producers in the same way.  Salmonella cannot be totally safe regardless of cooking the eggs.  Therefore, Americans did consume salmonella cooked eggs and it was all approved by the FDA.  This practice of letting large farm producers off the hook for even a repeat offender like Jack Decoster has to end. Hopefully this law will prevent the corruption of corporate farm CEO’s getting away with out jail time.

Example One is the Warning on Alfalpha Sprouts from an Organic Farm

Notice the elaborate details of organic alfalfa sprouts, the warnings, the emphasis not to eat sprouts which is a smaller consumer market than eggs.  Then compare the lack of detail of what happened to those 500 million contaminated eggs from the factory farm Wright County Eggs.  The factory farm notice is scant with details, and does not even recommend not eating salmonella eggs, which is astounding.
This is the Alfalfa Warning from the FDA’s Website:

FDA PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: Dec 27, 2010
Consumer Inquiries: 888-INFO-FDA
FDA: Don’t Eat Certain Lots of Tiny Greens Brand Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts
Sprouts may contain Salmonella
UPDATE: On Dec. 29, 2010, Tiny Greens Organic Farm announced a recall of the following products:
  • Alfalfa Sprouts in all package sizes with lot codes 305 through 348 or “sell by” dates from 12/16/10 through 12/29/10
  • Alfalfa Sprouts in all package sizes with lot codes 348, 350, or 354, or having a “sell by” date of 12/29/10, 12/31/10 or 1/04/11
  • Spicy Sprouts in 4 oz. containers with lot codes 305 through 348 or “sell by” dates from 12/16/10 through 12/29/10
  • Spicy Sprouts in 4 oz. containers with lot codes 348, 350, or 354, or having a “sell by” date of 12/29/10, 12/31/10 or 1/04/11
Fast Facts
  • The FDA is advising consumers not to eat Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts (which contain alfalfa sprouts mixed with radish and clover sprouts) from Tiny Greens Organic Farm of Urbana, Ill. The sprouts were distributed in 4 oz. and 5 lb. containers to various customers, including farmers’ markets, restaurants and groceries, in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and possibly other Midwestern states.
  • Preliminary results of the investigation of a multistate outbreak of Salmonella infections indicate a link to eating Tiny Greens’ Alfalfa Sprouts at Jimmy John’s restaurant outlets.
  • The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to have a severe illness from Salmonella infection.
  • Consumers should not eat Tiny Greens’ Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts. Consumers, retailers and others who have Tiny Greens Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts should discard them in a sealed container so people and animals, including wild animals, cannot eat them.
What is the Problem?
Tiny Greens Organic Farm’s Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts have been preliminarily linked to a multi-state outbreak of Salmonellahttp://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/i4512i-/. infections. The sprouts were distributed to Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and may also have been distributed to other Midwestern states. Approximately half of the illnesses occurred in Illinois, where nearly all of the ill individuals ate sandwiches containing sprouts at various Jimmy John’s outlets. The CDC has posted epidemiological information about this outbreak at
Jimmy John’s has stopped serving sprouts on its sandwiches at all Illinois locations.
What are the symptoms of illness/injury?
Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness usually lasts four  to seven days, and most persons recover without treatment. However, some individuals may require hospitalization from severe diarrhea. Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream and then to other body sites. It can cause death unless the person is treated promptly with antibiotics. The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to become severely ill from Salmonella infection.Who Is at Risk?

The elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems are more likely to become severely ill from Salmonella infection. The bacterium can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in these vulnerable populations. Most healthy individuals recover from Salmonella infections within four to seven days without treatment.

What Do Consumers and Restaurant Operators Need To Do?
Consumers should not eat Tiny Greens brand Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts. Restaurant and food service operators should not serve them. Consumers, retailers and others who have Tiny Greens Alfalfa Sprouts or Spicy Sprouts should throw them away in a sealed container.
Consumers who think they may have become ill from eating contaminated sprouts should consult their health care providers.

Sprouts are a known source of foodborne illness. Since 1996, there have been at least 30 reported outbreaks of foodborne illness associated with different types of raw and lightly cooked sprouts. Most of these outbreaks were caused by Salmonella and E. coli. The FDA advises that children, the elderly, pregnant women, and persons with weakened immune systems should avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean sprouts). To reduce the chance of foodborne illness, FDA advises consumers to cook sprouts thoroughly and to request raw sprouts not be added to your food.

What Does the Product Look Like?

Tiny Greens Alfalfa Sprouts and Spicy Sprouts (which contain radish, clover and alfalfa sprouts) are distributed in 4 oz. and 5 lb. containers.

Where is it Distributed?
The sprouts were distributed in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri and possibly other Midwestern states.

What is Being Done About the Problem?
FDA is investigating the problem in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Illinois Department of Public Health and other states and is working with Tiny Greens. Jimmy John’s restaurants have voluntarily suspended serving sprouts at their Illinois franchise locations.
The information in this press release reflects the FDA’s best efforts to communicate what it has learned from the manufacturer and the state and local public health agencies involved in the investigation. The agency will update this page as more information becomes available.

For more information:

CDC on Salmonella: http://www.cdc.gov/salmonella/general/

CDC on sprouts: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/press_r/taormina.htm

Now compare this more massive outbreak of salmonella from a factory farm, which is lacking in details, warnings, and what is really surprising is that the FDA even has a plug for the Wright County Egg in the last sentence.

 

The FDA Approved Salmonella Eggs to be Cooked and Consumed By Americans
The FDA Approved Salmonella Eggs to be Cooked and Consumed By American

 

It is clear that the FDA treats factory farms with kid gloves and goes after organic farms with a more heavy handed approach.

Example Two is the FDA Warning on 500 Million Salmonella Eggs from a Factory Farm

Wright County Egg Conducts Nationwide Voluntary Recalls of Shell Eggs Because of Possible Health Risk

 

Contact:
Egg Safety Media Hotline
404-367-2761

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 13, 2010 – The following statement was released by officials of Wright County Egg regarding the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) on-farm records review and egg testing for Salmonella.

Wright County Egg of Galt, Iowa is voluntarily recalling specific Julian dates of shell eggs produced by their farms because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections, endocarditis or arthritis.

Eggs affected by this recall were distributed to food wholesalers, distribution centers and foodservice companies in California, Illinois, Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. These companies distribute nationwide.

Eggs are packaged under the following brand names: Lucerne, Albertson, Mountain Dairy, Ralph’s, Boomsma’s, Sunshine, Hillandale, Trafficanda, Farm Fresh, Shoreland, Lund, Dutch Farms and Kemps. Eggs are packed in varying sizes of cartons (6-egg cartons, dozen egg cartons, 18-egg cartons) with Julian dates ranging from 136 to 225 and plant numbers 1026, 1413 and 1946. Dates and codes can be found stamped on the end of the egg carton. The plant number begins with the letter P and then the number. The Julian date follows the plant number, for example: P-1946 223.

There have been confirmed Salmonella enteritidis illnesses relating to the shell eggs and traceback investigations are ongoing.

Wright County Egg is fully cooperating with FDA’s investigation by undertaking this voluntary recall. Our primary concern is keeping Salmonella out of the food supply and away from consumers. As a precautionary measure, Wright County Egg also has decided to divert its existing inventory of shell eggs to a breaker, where they will be pasteurized to kill any Salmonella bacteria present.

Consumers who believe they may have purchased these shell eggs should not eat them but should return them to the store where they were purchased for a full refund. This recall is of shell eggs only. Other egg products produced by Wright County Eggs are not affected. Consumers with questions should visit www.eggsafety.org9.

Our farm strives to provide our customers with safe, high-quality eggs – that is our responsibility and our commitment.

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