In the aftermath of the recall of over half a billion eggs, two New York state lawmakers have introduced a bill that would require any eggs sold in the state to come from chickens that have been vaccinated against salmonella. New York Assemblyman Brian Kavanagh and Sen. Daniel Squadron, both who represent Manhattan, introduced the bill.
According to this report, reaction to the proposed legislation is mixed. The bill’s sponsors, argue its necessity:
Salmonella vaccination alone will not protect consumers, but must be included as part of any on-the-farm food safety program, Kavanagh said. “We’ve become persuaded that although vaccination is not a silver bullet, it should be part of a comprehensive program,” he said. “It is considered to be part of the best practice by some producers.”
Egg producers, though, say the requirement is unnecessary:
Egg farmers say that smart management of their operations and strict sanitary controls go a long way to preventing salmonella outbreaks like the one that struck an Iowa egg producer in August. Many of those controls are already governed by a state-run program that most large-scale producers follow. “It is not going anywhere,” said Peter Greg, spokesman for the New York Farm Bureau. New York has not had an outbreak of salmonella linked to eggs produced in the state since the 1980s, Gregg said. A voluntary egg quality assurance program, managed by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, governs nearly 90 percent of the eggs produced in New York, he said.
In light of the FDA’s findings at Wright County Egg in August, it seems clear that vaccination alone is insufficient. The FDA noted problems with sanitation, manure removal, flies, and rodents. It has been suggested, also, that feed may have been contaminated. That suggestion has been refuted by others however.