Consumers Union Calls for Annual Inspection of Food Plants in Wake of Peanut Butter Recalls; Says Obama Call for FDA Review ‘Good News’ for Consumers
“The FDA is supposed to be a watchdog for consumers, and for too long, this agency has been coming up short,” said
“President Obama’s review and his appointment of a new FDA Commissioner will definitely improve FDA’s use of its existing resources and authority. However, Congress must also act soon to modernize the agency and give it the additional resources and authority it desperately needs,” Halloran said.
“FDA was almost completely unaware of the problems at Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), despite the fact that problems had existed for some time, and that salmonella contaminated peanut butter at another
A recent Consumers Union poll found that two-thirds of Americans want the FDA to inspect domestic and foreign food-processing facilities at least once a month.
FDA last visited PCA’s plant in 2001, at which time PCA was only roasting peanuts. FDA admitted on
“Oversight of PCA was contracted out to the Georgia Department of Agriculture, which conducted a number of inspections. But there is little evidence that FDA was aware of repeated findings of unsanitary conditions at the plant,” Halloran stated.
CU says more basic reform will require Congressional action. “Congress should require FDA to inspect every food producer in
Prompted by the 8 deaths and more than 500 illnesses attributed to salmonella in peanut butter produced by PCA, and by the fact that the company apparently shipped product that it knew to be contaminated, Congress has begun considering FDA reform legislation. Representatives
Consumers Union advises consumers not to eat products containing peanut ingredients like crackers or cookies, unless consumers check with the manufacturer and make sure that none of it comes from PCA.
Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is an independent, nonprofit testing and information organization serving the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers
SOURCE Consumers Union