Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Former FDA Official Calls Peanut Corp. the "Poster Child" for Flawed System

The CBS Early Show revisited the peanut-borne salmonella outbreak earlier this year thought to have contributed to nine deaths and hundreds of illnesses nationwide. Former FDA assistant commissioner William Hubbard appeared on-camera, saying that the outbreak, ultimately linked to the Peanut Corporation of America, "is a poster child for the many flaws in our food safety system." Hubbard says that the agency in the 1970s "had the manpower to inspect every American food plant every-other year. Now, he says, the FDA budget only enables such inspections every 10 years." Hubbard "wants new laws forcing producers to admit to their problems." The story is also posted on the CBS News (4/27) website, which also recaps a USA Today Live on the "Early Show" Monday, in which USA Today Live Managing Editor Laura Ashburn called the nation's food safety system "severely broken." Ashburn added that "third-party independent inspectors... give ratings of superior or excellent when the producers are not."

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