Wednesday, November 28, 2012

FDA Stops Operations At Nation's Largest Organic Peanut Butter Plant

Remember the Food Safety Act passed last year?
"The FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), the most sweeping reform of our food safety laws in more than 70 years, was signed into law by President Obama on January 4, 2011. It aims to ensure the U.S. food supply is safe by shifting the focus from responding to contamination to preventing it."
Well, in a first-ever use of their new powers, FDA told Sunland, Inc. they couldn't start distributing their peanut butter again until they had an effective clean-up plan. Sunland has already recalled just about everything they produced since 2010 and has been closed for months. They planned on reopening this week:

FDA Halts Operations At Peanut Butter Plant After 41 Sickened By Salmonella Poisoning

The FDA found salmonella all over Sunland's plant:
"FDA inspectors found samples of salmonella in 28 different locations in the plant, in 13 nut butter samples and in one sample of raw peanuts.

The agency also found improper handling of the products, unclean equipment and uncovered trailers of peanuts outside the facility that were exposed to rain and birds."
But Sunland's president and CEO Jimmie Shearer said:
"At no time in its 24-year history has Sunland, Inc. released for distribution any products that it knew to be potentially contaminated with harmful microorganisms."
Do you think FDA's use of the power is justified?


Philippa said...

It's easier to feel libertarian outrage at the long arm of the FDA when it comes to an organic food producer.

However, if this had been a meat production plant, I would not hesitate to agree wholeheartedly with the FDA's actions.

Therefore, without knowing much more about the story, I'm inclined to think this is perfectly reasonable.

Angela and Melinda said...

OMG!!!! Salmonella all over the plant! Of course I think the FDA's use of power is justified. That's what we pay them for with our tax dollars: to protect us from harmful situations we wouldn't otherwise know about. Not that they always do the best job of that, but certainly it's part of what they're supposed to do, yes? (This is Dr. Mel.)