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Food Safety News Naughty List 2009

After much thought and consideration, here is the Food Safety News Naughty list for 2009:



NAUGHTY:  Stewart Parnell, President of Peanut Corporation of America, for asking for nearly $1 million from his bankrupt business for his own criminal defense fund after shipping peanuts his own tests showed were contaminated with Salmonella that sickened over 700 and killed at least nine. (See “PCA Executives To Divide $875,000,” Dec 11, 2009)

naughty and nice.pngNAUGHTY:  President Obama for NOT appointing a new permanent U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Food Safety. ALSO NAUGHTY: USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack for making excuses about it.  (See “FSIS Remains Leaderless,” Oct. 16, 2009)

NAUGHTY:  Some raw milk, small and sustainable agriculture advocates who confused the entire food safety debate by making and circulating false claims about the bills.  It really is about food safety, and is not a gigantic conspiracy by Monsanto to wipe out organic and backyard farms!  

NAUGHTY:  FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations and the U.S. District Attorney in Georgia for moving so slowly with the criminal investigations of the Peanut Corporation of America and its executives, including Stewart Parnell. (See “One Year Later, Still no Charges for PCA,” Nov 07, 2009)

NAUGHTY:  President Obama and Vice-President Biden for ordering undercooked hamburgers for the Press Corps at a DC restaurant with less than stellar inspection reports.

NAUGHTY:  Washington State University for removing Michael Pollan’s “Omnivore’s Dilemma” from the Common Reading Program.

NAUGHTY:  The FDA for caving to political pressure and backing down on oyster regulations.  (See “Under Pressure, FDA Puts Oyster Policy On Hold,” Nov 14, 2009)

NAUGHTY:  The Senate for being too slow on health care reform to pass meaningful–and decades overdue–food safety legislation before the Holidays.

NAUGHTY:  Weston A. Price Foundation for more denial of outbreaks and giving consumers false information about raw milk safety.

NAUGHTY:  FDA for its failure to control ridiculous health claims like Kellogg’s claiming that Cocoa Krispies are a “Smart Choice” because it “helps support your child’s immunity.”  (See “Do Krispies Boost Kids’ Immune Systems?” Nov 01, 2009)

NAUGHTY:  J. Patrick Boyle of the American Meat Institute for trying to dynamite the Senate food safety bill even though it doesn’t have anything to do with the meat industry.  

NAUGHTY:  State public health department officials attending the Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference in October who put industry profits ahead of public health.

NAUGHTY:  Rep. Charlie Melancon for declaring the death of 15 people a year is not too high a price to pay for a U.S. Senate seat in an oyster growing State. (See “Under Pressure, FDA Puts Oyster Policy On Hold,” Nov 14, 2009)

NAUGHTY:  Secretary Vilsack and White House for trying, in the name of free trade, to roll over Rep. Rosa DeLauro’s efforts to assure that the US does not permit poultry processors from shipping raw poultry meat from the US to China for processing and shipping back to the US for sale until USDA has determined that China’s inspection program is equivalent to ours. (See “Deal Reached on Poultry Imports,” Sep 27, 2009) 

NAUGHTY:  FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg for urging Congress to give the Agency authority to reduce the intensity of inspections if they don’t get all the money they ask for.

NAUGHTY:  The FDA staff that keeps appealing to consumer advocates, “don’t set us up to fail,” when consumer advocates push for more inspection.  They never say, “help us get the law and resources we need to protect people.”
    

This list is a compilation of submissions from the Food Safety News publisher, staff, readers, and food safety experts.

© Food Safety News
  • Steve Gilman

    Someone deserves a lump of coal — but it’s not the sustainable and organic groups as depicted — who actively worked to stop the false claims and conspiracy theories and are positively involved in advancing measures that promote real food safety in our food supply.
    RE: your “NAUGHTY: Some raw milk, small and sustainable agriculture advocates who confused the entire food safety debate by making and circulating false claims about the bills. It really is about food safety, and is not a gigantic conspiracy by Monsanto to wipe out organic and backyard farms! (See “Small Ag Organizes to Amend Senate Bill,” Nov. 17, 2009)”
    Please go to the NOV 17th story and actually read it… you’ll find a responsible approach to the whole problem of one-size-fits-all regs as they effect family scale farms as well as the sustainable, organic, localvore, farm to school, slow food, healthy food, food security, ETC. communities based on their production. Then check out the National Sustainable Agriculture and National Organic Coalition web sites and decide for yourself. Thank you.

  • Sam

    Pet food companies should be added to this naughty list for not being upfront and honest with the public when they know about problems they have found with their pet food and not informing the public of silent product removals from store shelves and not issuing official product recall notices through FDA.

  • concern4pets

    Add to the Naughty list for 2009, pet food manufacturers who
    attempted an end run around food recall notices to the FDA and the consuming public this year by calling their actions
    “retrievals” or “voluntary withdrawals” of different food products while in at least one instance pets were dying. Let’s hope such “no notice recalls” don’t catch on among more food manufacturers so that only retailers get notice and the consuming public is not protected by being made aware of food
    product problems.

  • bryant hudson

    The current senate bill is not good for small farms. Small farms are the future for good healthy food. Transnational agribusiness needs regulation (good luck – it won’t happen – no matter what is in the bill). By cutting down small farms, this piece of legislation does more for big agriculture than any greedy capitalist could ever hope for. Write your senator now and tell them to remove all small/family farms from this bill. And the simple truth is that consumers have more power than the congress. You can make good choices when buying food and this is the best way to fix the problem.
    Bryant Hudson
    Norman, Oklahoma

  • jon

    i disagree strongly on your opinion that Monsanto is not attempting to wipe out organic farms. nothing they have ever done has been in the interest of healthy food, healthy evironments, or food safety. however, quite a bit of what they have done has been against small and organic farmers. you just lost any credibility you had as a “food safety” proponent by protecting monsanto.

  • Brian Umberson

    Disclosure-I work at a firm that has a new bacteria testing technology. I have called the legislative staffs to discuss how new technology can impact the recent Food Safety Modernization Act. The problem is there are “barriers” established that are impossible for small companies to over come. Unfortunately, the future of food safety suffers…. Food safety procedures are currently based on old slow technology that is not sensitive enough to ascertain exisitence of injured cells. I feel that we have to consider further discussion of the unique ability to recognize INJURED cells now, and how this new phenomena impacts food safety, and especially e.coli outbreaks. I would also like to discuss how our product and other SMALL new tech companies have testing technologies with sensitivity and speed that can improve the N60 testing platform.

  • GrannySue

    Ms. Schreck is the naughty one. It would be quite interesting to see just what she used for her research when deciding the above – my guess is well-used toilet paper.
    About the smartest and most rational thing Obama has done since he announced he was running for office was refuse to seat a “Food Safety” Czar. There IS a reason they are referred to as Czars, but that idea is left in the dust by the so-called journalists in our media these days.
    WAPF is far less guilty of covering up illness outbreaks due to FRESH milk than the USDA/FDA in publishing false reports of unconfirmed cases, lying and buying the “best practices” of sell-outs to corporate agendas over real safety and public health concerns. Who else recalls an entire lot of baked goods because milk wasn’t listed as an allergen on the label, but allows for melamine to continue to pour in from China in whey powder used in baby formula?
    Ms. Schreck – I would suggest you spend a lot more time reading before you decide to write. You’ve got your facts backward.

  • hhamil

    Ms. Shreck, I have just seen this op-ed in which I am clearly implicated in your third “Naughty,” by your citing Helena Bottemiller’s article which quotes me. As I wasn’t exempted in your criticism, you have charged that I “have confused the entire food safety debate by making and circulating false claims about the bills.”
    Therefore, I demand that you either name specifically the “false claims about the bills” which I made in her article or apologize in these comments and a separate op-ed.
    I, also, demand that you do the same for the others so charged.
    In the future, you might follow the practice of Dr. Richard Raymond in his “Food (Safety) Fight” blog on MeatingPlace.com. He regularly responds in the “comments” to the comments of his readers. There are several above which merit a response from you.
    Last, but far from least, I thank Steve Gillman for his defense of those of us charged in your third “Naughty.”

  • Hi Harry,
    This list is a compilation of submissions from the Food Safety News publisher, staff, readers, and food safety experts and is not my opinion.
    Suzanne

  • Steve Gilman – Hello, It is Bill Marler – I’m the publisher of FSN – Although, we stick with the following being on the Naughty List:
    NAUGHTY: Some raw milk, small and sustainable agriculture advocates who confused the entire food safety debate by making and circulating false claims about the bills. It really is about food safety, and is not a gigantic conspiracy by Monsanto to wipe out organic and backyard farms!
    We should not have linked it to the article:
    “Small Ag Organizes to Amend Senate Bill,” Nov. 17, 2009.
    That link was in error, the folks quoted in that article were not where the Naughty finger was pointed – our error. We will take down the list. Thanks to you and Harry Hamlin for bringing it to my attention. Sorry we did not respond sooner.

  • Harry Hamil

    Ms. Shreck, I have just seen this op-ed in which I am clearly implicated in your third “Naughty,” by your citing Helena Bottemiller’s article which quotes me. As I wasn’t exempted in your criticism, you have charged that I “have confused the entire food safety debate by making and circulating false claims about the bills.”
    Therefore, I demand that you either name specifically the “false claims about the bills” which I made in her article or apologize in these comments and a separate op-ed.
    I, also, demand that you do the same for the others so charged.
    In the future, you might follow the practice of Dr. Richard Raymond in his “Food (Safety) Fight” blog on MeatingPlace.com. He regularly responds in the “comments” to the comments of his readers. There are several above which merit a response from you.
    Last, but far from least, I thank Steve Gillman for his defense of those of us charged in your third “Naughty.”

  • Hi Harry,
    This list is a compilation of submissions from the Food Safety News publisher, staff, readers, and food safety experts and is not my opinion.
    Suzanne