[permaculture] OpEdNews - Article: The Festering Fraud behind Food Safety Reform

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Wed Nov 18 15:09:43 EST 2009

OpEdNews - Article: The Festering Fraud behind Food Safety Reform

“The general public must recognize that only after the demystification 
of U.S. agriculture will family farmers, labor, and consumers see beyond 
corporate agribusiness' manipulations to the point where they will 
recognize that both their mutual interests and the future of agriculture 
can be best decided through a system that not only practices political 
democracy, but economic democracy as well.

-- Ingolf Voegler

 From Page 1 of 10 pages in this article:

"The vested interests behind the creation of the 2009 Food Safety 
Enhancement Act and its Senate companion bill S. 510, the FDA Food 
Safety Modernization Act, are the same vested interests who were behind 
the earlier deregulation of the meat and poultry inspection process. 
They aim to minimize the regulatory obstacles faced by transnational 
corporations engaged in international trade, which is increasingly 
becoming the movement of goods from one subsidiary affiliate to another 
subsidiary affiliate. And they're using the issue of food safety to con 
us into consenting to their wishes.

The Fundamental Fraud Undermining Food Safety

After reading Moss's article, one might conclude that what's needed to 
increase the safety of the food supply is more testing. But that 
response misses the bigger picture. As illuminating as Moss's article 
is, it completely ignores the fact that the meat and poultry inspection 
process underwent a radical transformation in the 90s that took away 
government meat and poultry inspectors' authority to ensure product 
safety and handed it over to the slaughter and processing companies 
themselves. Critics of this surrender of regulatory authority say it's 
the equivalent of expecting the driver of a speeding car to pull over 
and write themselves a ticket. It's hardly news that corporations exist 
to maximize profits, not ensure society's welfare. But if you have any 
doubts that the honor system adopted by the USDA isn't working, just ask 
Stephanie Smith.

So, how did one of the most regulated industries become deregulated? For 
this, we can thank vested interests for engineering a regulatory coup: 
mandating that Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Plans (HACCP), 
pronounced ‘hassip', be applied to the raw food in/raw food out stages 
of food production.

Since the early 70s, HACCP had been used successfully and voluntarily as 
a food safety approach by industrial food processors. HACCP was 
originally designed to ensure product safety by including in the 
production process a “kill” step that rendered harmless any pathogens 
present in the food product. But along the way, it was decided that the 
approach should be mandated to raw meat processing alone. The problem 
is: in raw food in/raw food out food processing, such as meat slaughter 
and processing, there are no effective, definitive control steps 
available, such as cooking, to kill pathogens. "

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