Updated: 2.02.09 added another story
Food Safety: Georgia Plant Knowingly Shipped Contaminated Peanuts; Study Links Corn Syrup to Toxic Mercury
We look at two stories on food safety. The FDA has issued one of the largest food recalls in history after eight people died of salmonella poisoning. A Georgia peanut plant knowingly shipped products contaminated with salmonella on a dozen occasions over the past two years. And a pair of new studies has revealed traces of toxic mercury can be found in many popular food items containing high-fructose corn syrup. The sweetener has become a widely used substitute for sugar in processed foods, including many items marketed toward children. [includes rush transcript]
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US: Nationwide salmonella outbreak forces major recall, plant closure
By Naomi Spencer
2 February 2009
On January 30, the federal Food and Drug Administration announced it was opening a criminal investigation into food safety violations at a Georgia peanut plant responsible for a nationwide salmonella outbreak that has sickened more than 500 people and killed at least 8 since September. Over 100 children under the age of five are among those who have been made seriously ill by the contaminated food.
After concluding a two-week investigation of the plant last week, the FDA issued an advisory to dispose of every product containing peanuts processed there within the past two years. The recall, one of the largest in US history, extends to over 430 different foods made with peanut products from the Blakely, Georgia facility run by Peanut Corporation of America. The recall has been extended to markets in Canada and Europe.
Like countless other food poisoning outbreaks in the past few years, the latest salmonella outbreak emphasizes the vulnerability of the country’s food supply and the toothless regulatory system charged with overseeing it. Public health, revealed time and again to be fundamentally incompatible with private profit, can only be ensured through public control of production, including organization of the food supply and its essential industry.