Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why we need regulations

When I was about twelve years old or so I read a didactic and preachy old-fashioned novel about dogs and vegetarianism and tainted food and that sort of thing. I can't remember the title or the author but it had a big effect on me. Part of that story had to do with laws being passed to protect consumers from tainted and/or adulterated food. Now look at this story from CNN:

The maker of peanut butter linked to a nationwide outbreak of salmonella shipped tainted product it knew had tested positive for the bacteria, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The FDA report said the Peanut Corporation of America's own testing program found strains of salmonella 12 times in 2007 and 2008 at its Blakely, Georgia, plant. The problem does not appear to have been resolved.

When FDA inspectors visited the plant this month, they reported finding still more salmonella contamination.

According to the
inspection report, posted on the FDA's Web site, the "firm's own internal microbiological testing" found salmonella in peanut paste, peanut butter, peanut meal, peanut granules and oil-roasted, salted peanuts.

However, it added, "After the firm retested the product and received a negative status, the product was shipped."

That's not the way it ought to have been handled, according to one expert. "They were lab shopping," said Tommy Irvin, Georgia's agriculture commissioner. "

They were trying to find a way to clear their product, so they can ship their product out," he told CNN.

He said proper practices demand that if any food product tests positive for salmonella and another test comes back negative, "you believe the one that is positive."

There's more if you want to click through.

We not only need regulations on the books but we need them to be aggresively enforced.

UPDATE: Oh my goodness. Against all odds I have just remembered the name of the book I read when I was so young. It is Beautiful Joe by Margaret Marshall Saunders (published in 1893). You can read the entire book online right here.

And I recommend that you read the Amazon reviews right here.


  1. When my sister and I were in grade school our mother took us to a used book store. My sister was a nut about dogs and I was a nut about horses. She chose "Beautiful Joe" and I chose "Black Beauty."?" Both volumes were basically about preventing cruelty to animals. I thought both books were very good. Then, a few years ago I found a copy of "Beautiful Joe" at a flea market and purchased it for my sister, knowing she had lost her copy many years ago... She was delighted to get another copy.

    Yes, the books were "preachy," but they made a deep impression on both my sister and I as youngsters. We've always had numerous pets and my sister volunteers at her local Humane Society and I feed and trap and neuter feral cats... Perhaps we need to encourage more "preachy" books for young people.

  2. Anonymous7:48 PM

    I remember reading this book too. Kathleen

  3. Anonymous1:29 PM

    I loved this book as a seemed as though I was right there, in the story, with this boy and his beloved seeing-eye dog. thanks so much for this link...

    ann c


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