Budget Cuts could affect Produce


SAN FRANCISCO – President Barack Obama‘s proposed budget would eliminate the nation’s only program that regularly tests fruits and vegetables for deadly pathogens, leaving public health officials without a crucial tool used to investigate deadly food borne illness outbreaks.

The budget plan the president sent to Congress on Monday would ax the Agriculture Department‘s tiny Microbiological Data Program, which extensively screens high-risk fresh produce throughout the year for bacteria including salmonella, E. coli and listeria.

If samples are positive, they can trigger nationwide recalls, and keep tainted produce from reaching consumers or grocery store shelves.

Food safety advocates and a top-ranking U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official said the information also can help pinpoint foods tied to illness outbreaks, and would not easily be replaced by companies’ internal tests or more modest federal sampling programs.

“It’s the radar gun that keeps the industry honest and if that’s eliminated, we don’t have a program that will keep the industry in check,” said Mike Doyle, director of the University of Georgia‘s Center for Food Safety, which works with the produce industry to improve safety measures on farms and in packing houses. “This is really important because you and I eat that food and we don’t want to get sick.”

White House Office of Management and Budget spokeswoman Meg Reilly said the decision to cut the $5 million program was made after USDA decided it had limited impact. She said USDA also determined it was not a good fit within its Agricultural Marketing Service division, which is partially funded by fees collected from produce growers. “While food safety is a vitally important part of successfully marketing produce and other agricultural products, other federal and state public health agencies are better equipped to perform this function,” USDA spokeswoman Courtney Rowe said.

Major trade associations have repeatedly pushed the government in recent years to get rid of the comprehensive testing program, saying it has cost growers millions in produce recalls and unfairly targeted farmers who aren’t responsible for contaminating the food. They want the private sector to do more of its own testing.

http://www.chron.com/default/article/Budget-cuts-could-eliminate-bacteria-testing-of-3337342.php

Until next time,

Polly

 

Advertisements

About Polly Heil-Mealey, ND, P.Sc., HHP, M.Ed., C.C.I.

Dr. Polly Heil-Mealey is the Past-President of the International Iridology Practitioners Association (IIPA), as well as an IIPA Certified Iridologist with a Master’s Degree in Education, and a Naturopathic degree. She has been involved in education and Biblical health care since 1994. Dr. Polly has been active in both television and radio, presenting community service programs covering various topics. An international traveler, she gives seminars on alternative health practices, incorporating iridology and Biblical nutritional counseling. Dr. Polly now uses her expert ability to communicate vital and useful information to help her clients build or restore their health. One of Dr. Polly’s greatest passions is to see her clients restore their health through natural therapies. Every success story confirms the need for education in holistic practices. Dr. Polly brings a high level of dedication and commitment to her clientele. She has touched the lives of many with her concern and selfless devotion. The verse “My people perish for lack of knowledge,” is a scripture that touches every level of society. As clients learn and understand holistic protocols, they are able to improve their health drastically by incorporating diet and lifestyle changes. Dr. Polly is married to Stephen Hale, and together they have eight children. Both are very active in their church and serve on various boards in their community. Dr. Polly is also the director of Women’s Ministries of her church. Dr. Polly and Stephen reside in Humble, Texas.
This entry was posted in Health, Nutrition, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s