Yes, I am referring to the salmonella outbreak and subsequent recall of millions of eggs. As an ardent egg devotee, I am appalled and as a follower of food policy issues, I am outraged. Here is why:
1. The regulations necessary to prevent outbreaks like this have been floating around for a decade when President Clinton was in office but have not been implemented.
2. A simple and cheap way to avoid salmonella is vaccination. It is done in the UK, for example, and the egg supply is very safe. However, it is not mandatory in this country and only about half the egg laying hens are vaccinated.
3. Who was in charge? No one. The USDA is responsible for plants and animals (but not for eggs) and the FDA is responsible for shelled eggs ( but not for the hens). So the infected hens who laid the eggs are nobody’s business.
4.Is this serving as a wake up call to Congress which is dithering over the Food Safety Bill? No. They are too busy working hard on your time and money trying to prevent banning BPA in plastics to actually pass the Food Safety Bill which would give some teeth to the FDA.
There is more on this issue here: in the New York Times. We all need to educate ourselves on this issue and also communicate our views to the people we elected.