Widened Peanut Butter Recall Exposes Flawed Food Safety Net
Statement of Wenonah Hauter, Food & Water Watch Executive Director
WASHINGTON - "Last night's announcement by the Food and Drug Administration that
the recall of products from the Peanut Corporation of America plant in
Blakely, Georgia had been expanded serves as further evidence of FDA's
inability to protect consumers from unsafe food.
"The agency's investigation has revealed that the company knew about
Salmonella contamination in its products and shipped them anyway.
Sadly, this type of practice is far too easy under FDA's lax inspection
system that consists of infrequent visits, often by subcontracted state
agencies with little or no follow-up by FDA. Given FDA's attitude of
asking food processors to police themselves, it should be no surprise
that yet another massive food recall is causing consumers to question
what is safe to eat.
"It is time for Congress to fix FDA's broken food safety system. A
bill that will soon be introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro, the Food Safety
Modernization Act, would establish a food safety agency outside of FDA,
within the Department of Health and Human Services. The bill would
require this new agency to establish and enforce food safety standards
and inspected food processing plants at least once per year. It would
also give the new agency mandatory recall authority to get unsafe food
out of the marketplace as quickly as possible and allow civil and
criminal actions to be brought against companies that violate the law.
This type of bold step is needed to address the historic deficiencies
in FDA's authority, resources, and political will."
To view the FDA inspection report online, visit http://www.fda.gov/ora/frequent/483s/r_ATL-DO_PCA_Blakely_GA_Form_FDA_483_dtd_Jan_09-27_2009.pdf