When I go to the movies, which is every Friday night I like to eat peanut M&M’s. I just hope they are safe.

February 12th, 2009

The House Energy and Commerce subcommittee held hearings this week on the most recent salmonella outbreak.

This outbreak has sickened some 600 people, may be linked to nine deaths; the latest of which was reported in Ohio this week on Wednesday and has also resulted in one of the largest product recalls ever of more than 1,900 food items.

This inforamtion drives me crazy. I’m not sure how we come up with 600 people. There are far too many people that can not afford health care and just stay home sick and never report to anyone just how sick they are. There are others that regardless of how bad they feel go to work any way because it is like a badge of honor to them not to miss a day of work. The fact is that this particular outbreak has probably sickened thousands and killed more than the nine reported above. That means that last years outbreak was probably even larger yet.

When Mr. Parnell the owner of the Peanut Corp. of America was question by the committee, he answered as follows. “Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, on advice of my counsel, I respectively decline to answer your questions based on the protections afforded me under the U.S. Constitution,” How’s this not as bad or worse than what Bernie Madoff did? I’m not sure of the total dollar value of losses attributed to this, but it has to be in the multiple millions.

Further testimony concluded that the company discovered salmonella at its Blakely, Ga., plant as far back as 2006. Food and Drug Administration officials told lawmakers more federal inspections could have helped prevent the outbreak.

So, what comes of all this? Another study? More money to staff the FDA so they can do more audits? They just finished hiring 1300 new employees for just that purpose last year.

I remember a movie from the late 1970’s. I think it was called Network. A reporter named Beale In one impassioned diatribe galvanizes the nation with his rant, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.

Well this is my opportunity to hopefully do the same. “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore. Tomorrow I am going to forward this post to anyone and everyone I can think off that does care. We don’t need committees, trade groups, governments and studies. We need action. The tools and processes are availed to solve this problem today. Innocent people do not need to continue to get sick and die from food distributed in the most advanced country on the planet.

Let’s stop talking and start doing. Relative to food and product safety we have done that at SafeSourcing and don’t just talk the talk with our origin and ECO stories. We walk the walk with specific programs and deliverables. I’d like to hear what the rest of you are doing.

We look forward to and appreciate your comments.

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