F'n Disastrous Agency. Apparently the FDA knew about the tainted peanut butter and spinach well before it sickened people across the country.
In the peanut-butter case, an agency report shows FDA inspectors checked into complaints about salmonella contamination in a ConAgra factory in Georgia in 2005. But when company managers refused to provide documents the inspectors requested, they left and failed to follow up.Apparently the FDA lacks some teeth. With all the controversy about what powers the Patriot Act gives certain agencies, one agency that deserves all the power needed is the FDA. How can the security of our food sources, and subsequent safety of Americans, be overlooked?
Earlier this year, a salmonella outbreak traced to the plant's Peter Pan and Great Value peanut-butter brands sickened more than 400 people in 44 states. The likely cause, ConAgra said, was moisture from a roof leak and a malfunctioning sprinkler system that activated dormant salmonella in the plant, which is now closed.
The 2005 report shows FDA inspectors were looking into "an alleged episode of positive findings of salmonella in peanut butter in October of 2004 that was related to new equipment and that the firm didn't react to ... insects in some equipment, water leaking onto product, and inability to track some product."
During the inspection, the report says, ConAgra admitted it had destroyed some product in October 2004 but would not say why.