Protecting The Food Supply

by Stuart Shapiro

 

The E-Coli BacteriumWith the exception of the big question of how much we tax and spend, most policy decisions in the next two years will be made in the executive branch because of the dysfunctional nature of Congress.  That’s one reason why the election was so important.  The FDA started making some of those decisions this week.

The first rule would require manufacturers of processed foods sold in the United States to come up with ways to reduce the risk of contamination. Food companies would be required to have a plan for correcting problems and for keeping records that government inspectors could audit. . .

The second rule would apply to the harvesting and production of fruits and vegetables in an effort to combat bacterial contamination like E. coli, which is transmitted through feces. It would address what advocates refer to as the “four Ws” — water, waste, workers and wildlife. . .

The food industry cautiously applauded the proposals, with most companies and industry groups noting that they would be poring over them and making comments as necessary in the coming weeks.

The rules took a long time to come out (the underlying statute was passed in 2010) but they should make a real public health difference.

About Stuart Shapiro

Stuart Shapiro Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels. Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush.

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