Protect our food, without the waste

Published 9:11 pm Tuesday, July 7, 2009

President Obama’s ever-increasing government regulation is growing to include the food we eat and, this time, increased regulation may actually be a welcome function of the government.

On Tuesday, a food safety panel established by the president announced new safety standards which will be used by the Food and Drug Administration and the Agriculture Department in an attempt to make our food safer to eat. The new rules address such as areas:

Establishing a better tracing system for the FDA to use in tracking origins of a bacterial outbreak such as a salmonella scare.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Establishing a new network for agencies which regulate food to enhance communication.

Increasing sampling of ground beef ingredients in an effort to seek out E. coli contamination.

Aiding the FDA in encouraging ways that producers of leafy greens, melons and tomatoes can reduce disease strains and requiring stricter standards in those industries within two years.

And, true to growth of President Obama’s government, establishing new positions in both the FDA and the Ag Department to better oversee food safety.

In short, we believe our food system needs better oversight, control and attention. As Americans, we are blessed – perhaps to the point of taking for granted the bounty of food available to us. But we also know that salmonella, E. coli and other outbreaks and quickly spread throughout our food supply system and wreak havoc on us.

While we salute the concept of federal oversight, and hope that it will be effective, we worry that these new guidelines and the bureaucracy they create will render them ineffective.

So what can we do?

One choice is to shop local, and support our Pike County and Alabama Farmers for fresh produce whenever possible. By doing so, you limit the likelihood that your food has been processed in large facilities, exposing it to bacteria and contamination.

Another option is to continue to lobby our congressmen and remind them that government needs to be of the people and work effectively for the people.

We want a safe, reliable food supply. e just believe we can achieve it without sprouting more branches of government waste.