Food Safety in North America requires a ZERO TOLERANCE policy by all safety and health related organizations.

October 7th, 2008

As a follow up to this blog title

As a follow up to this blog title, here’s a food safety question for our readers. Just what is considered safe?

Food additives have always been an issue for food safety officials. This author applauds the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their stance on melamine in baby formula. But enough is enough already.

According to the FDA, no level of the chemical melamine is acceptable in baby formula. We could not agree more! However, in other foods tiny amounts such as 2.5 parts per million (ppm) is considered acceptable. Are you kidding me? How many parents would knowingly let there babies drink formula that contains any melamine. My guess is none if they knew it contained this industrial (not food) product. Let’s review; melamine is an industrial product that can mimic protein content when it is added to food products. In large quantities it can be fatal. In fact the cause of this particular FDA announcement is a result of the Chinese milk scandal that has sickened fifty three thousand infants and KILLED four because of this additive.

If small amounts are ok, who is going to monitor the amounts? If 2.5 parts per million is ok, what happens if there are 5 parts per million or 10 parts per million. Is there a cumulative affect as there is with lead. Will signage be displayed that indicates that a product contains small amounts of melamine? If so, how many consumers would buy the product? I’m pretty sure the answer is ZERO.

This author believes that zero tolerance is the right policy relative to fillers, additives and other products that are not intended nor were developed for inclusion in food. I also believe it is incumbent upon retail suppliers to disclose this information as well as at least 3 to 4 levels of traceability for the products they supply.

We look forward to your comments.

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