Food safety in an industrial age
Christian Science Monitor
When it comes to food, Americans live in an industrial age. The stuff of most meals is mass produced and processed. The recent mass removal of tainted and suspect spinach from the market is a reminder of this – and of the need for US agriculture to adopt more appropriate safety measures.
The E. coli problem with fresh spinach highlights enormous differences in the oversight and regulation of produce compared with meat. More US residents are harmed by contaminated produce than by faulty beef, poultry, or seafood, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
The problems with produce contamination are growing, while those with meat are declining. Yet the Food and Drug Administration, which oversees produce, has far fewer resources and less regulatory authority than the US Department of Agriculture, which oversees meat.