Latest headlines

Consumer rights group says inadequate USDA inspection leaves consumers at risk

July 16, 2014
/ Print / Reprints /
ShareMore
/ Text Size+

Consumer rights group says inadequate USDA inspection leaves consumers at riskIn a letter sent to USDA this week detailing examples of meat and poultry plants not receiving food safety inspections because of shortages in inspection personnel, nongovernmental organization Food & Water Watch says the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is mismanaged.

The organization said these examples contradict statements USDA has made before Congress and display on its website.

“Consumers are at risk thanks to the Obama’s administration’s decision to starve the FSIS inspection program, which has led to violations of the continuous inspection mandate,” said Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch.  “We have lost confidence in the leadership at FSIS because it cannot be trusted to tell the truth or to manage the agency competently.”

Food & Water Watch said the shortages are a result of a hiring restriction policy adopted by USDA in 2012 which capped the number of permanent federal inspectors. Because of this, vacancies have been filled with temporary inspectors through a hiring program the organization says has yet to meet its goal, leaving the country short.

The letter, sent to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, details a number of instances where inspections were insufficient at plants in the US. Hauter concludes that USDA should take time to re-evaluate FSIS and institute a complete overhaul if necessary.

“We have lost confidence in that agency because its leaders cannot be trusted to tell the truth and on the current course it is heading public health is being placed in jeopardy,” Hauter wrote.

The letter can be read here.

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

Recent Articles by Jeremy Gerrard

You must login or register in order to post a comment.

Multimedia

Videos

Image Galleries

Plant of the Year 2014

Blue Diamond Growers was chosen as Food Engineering's 2014 Plant of the Year. The Sacramento-based company is the world’s largest producer of almonds and almond ingredients.

Podcasts

Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

FSMA Audit

What is the is most important step you have taken to become ready for a FSMA audit?
View Results Poll Archive

Food Engineering

FE September 2014

2014 September

The September 2014 issue of Food Engineering explores how lean manufacturing, quality improvements and increased automation helps processors meet rapidly changing demands. Also, read how robotics, advanced machine controls, software and OEE are just a few of the tools that can boost productivity on packaging lines.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

THE FOOD ENGINEERING STORE

Food-Authentication-Flyer-(.gif
Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.

Food Master

Food Master Cover 2014Food Master 2014 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit www.foodmaster.com to learn more.

STAY CONNECTED

FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +