Food industry bitten by their own lobbying efforts

Gosh, I didn’t see that one coming. Shocked. Absolutely shocked. The Big Food industry has only themselves to blame for losing $250+ million due to food safety issues. They bought influence in Washington and the GOP, as they do, believed the entire “we can self regulate” rubbish. Well duh, it doesn’t work for food nor finance nor any other industry.

One of the worst outbreaks of foodborne illness in the U.S. is teaching the food industry the truth of the adage, “Be careful what you wish for because you might get it.”

The industry pressured the Bush administration years ago to limit the paperwork companies would have to keep to help U.S. health investigators quickly trace produce that sickens consumers, according to interviews and government reports reviewed by The Associated Press.

The White House also killed a plan to require the industry to maintain electronic tracking records that could be reviewed easily during a crisis to search for an outbreak’s source. Companies complained the proposals were too burdensome and costly, and warned they could disrupt the availability of consumers’ favorite foods.

The apparent but unintended consequences of the lobbying success: a paper record-keeping system that has slowed investigators, with estimated business losses of $250 million. So far, nearly 1,300 people in 43 states, the District of Columbia and Canada have been sickened by salmonella since April.

Investigators initially focused on tomatoes as a culprit. Now they are turning attention to jalapeno peppers.

Even still, rumors about tomato problems are still swirling. Great lobbying job folks. How’d it all work out for ya?

An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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