At 10:30 AM today, Agriculture Secretary Vilsack, HHS Secretary Sebelius, and Vice-President Biden will issue “key finding,” according to an email from Nick Shapiro, Office of the Press Secretary, in The White House, that was sent to several media outlets. According to press release, entitled President’s Food Safety Working Group: Delivering Results, the Obama administration is going to implement “a new public health-focused approach to food safety based on three core principles: (1) prioritizing prevention; (2) strengthening surveillance and enforcement; and (3) improving response and recovery.” Although these principles are laudable, and anything would be an improvement over the Bush administration’s efforts to put industry profits above the public health, most of what is being announced today is recycled from Clinton years, and all are incremental steps that seek improvements around the edges rather than the much needed structural change to the U.S. food safety system.
What follows is a point-by-point commentary and critique of today’s announced policy changes and renewed initiatives. As I think you will see, there is not a lot radical going on here. (Please click on the Continue Reading link to read more.)
Continue Reading Back to the Future: Obama Recycling Clinton-Era Food Safety Initiatives as New