Microbiological Data Program shut down, no other agency set to pick up slack
The program had done most federal fruit and produce testing since 2001
According to Bill Marler of MarlerBlog.com, the Microbiological Data Program (MDP), administered by the Agricultural Marketing Service, was shut down on Dec. 31, 2012. MDP had conducted 80 percent of all federal produce testing since 2001. Food safety advocates including Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) have pointed out that no other agency appears ready to step in and conduct the testing, while the produce industry argues that the testing failed to benefit public health. Though FDA technically has nominal jurisdiction over the safety of fruits and vegetables, it conducts far less testing compared to MDP.