Government to Bail Out Tainted Tomato Industry?

The Wall Street Journal reports that Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL) plans to introduce legislation to give tomato growers and shippers $100 million in compensation for their losses due to the recent salmonella outbreak.

The WSJ states that the FDA has listed its ban on the tainted vegetable, while the CDC says that there still may be more cases not yet reported which resulted from tomatoes. More than 1200 people were sickened in this latest produce disaster.

Congress has scheduled several hearings next week concerning the salmonella outbreak and why thee was such a lengthy delay in determining the cause.

The sought-after amount is based on an estimate from Florida growers and includes crops abandoned in the field, products thrown out by retailers and tomatoes forced to be sold as low as $5 a box, compared with as much as $20 in a normal market, said Reggie Brown, executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, a cooperative of tomato farmers. The Agriculture Department hasn’t released a firm estimate of the cost to farmers or distributors.

Call me crazy, but shouldn’t we try to figure out exactly what happened first, before we opt to shovel $100 million dollars to any industry? Especially one which may be at fault?

Consumer advocates oppose the bill. Sarah Klein, a staff attorney at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said the food-industry lobby over the years has weakened federal food-safety oversight, and consumers shouldn’t foot the bill now. “We’d like to see the industry focusing on how to prevent these outbreaks for the future to protect consumers and their bottom line,” she said.

Gee, you don’t say?

Oh, and watch those Jalepeno peppers. They’re still hot. The FDA and CDC found a single pepper tainted with the Saintpaul strain of salmonella in Texas.

It’s time we rethink how we eat. Much of our food is shipped from China, Thailand and other parts unknown. This is a waste of energy and the food we get no longer tastes as it once did. This is done so Big Agra can make tons-o-money and control the food we eat. The costs to the consumer are skyrocketing.

What can you do? Several thing. Buy local! Go to local farmer’s markets. most communities have them weekly throughout the growing season. Support those people who grow food near you. Find a local co-op or grower. Consider doing the same with your meat. Find a local rancher and buy in bulk. No more downer cow issues when you can personally inspect how the animals are raised.

For more information go to Eat Wild. Remind your taste buds what real food tastes like! And feel more secure in the foods that you do eat.

Bon Apetit!

Cross Posted at TheZoo.

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6 Comments

  1. americalives said,

    July 30, 2008 at 10:50 am

    Why isnt Barack Obama not opening up a huge lead on John McCain?

    All the factors point to a very large Obama win but its not materializing.

    I would really like you to come to

    AmericaLives.wordpress.com

    and post why you think this lead isn’t coming to past. Can anyone explain this ? Give it a shot

  2. August 6, 2008 at 5:24 am

    All this tainted food is a scam by the food industry. I don’t trust any of these big growers.

  3. Georgette Orwell said,

    August 20, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    It turned out it wasn’t tomatoes that were tainted; it was the jalepeno peppers in salsa.

  4. Moinschoors said,

    May 20, 2009 at 12:36 pm

    Engaging site – hope to definitely come back soon:D


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