Tuesday, March 30


You'll recall that I've been asking for a while to see the documentation that would support that "99.9% compliance" claim for feed producers vis-a-vis animal protein contamination? Turns out even if I'd seen the papers, they would have just said "We promise we're doing perfectly, Signed, Your Trustworthy Feed Producer." That's the only thing that number's based on. You see, 56 percent of the feed-handling companies have not been inspected since Dec. 31, 2002. This comes up in a story about California's numbers (the state's doing better than the average, with only 44% uninspected last year), which points out that this violates "regulations calling for annual checks - a key brick in the U.S. firewall against mad cow disease" and adds: "Those are among the reasons the General Accounting Office has launched its third investigation in four years into the FDA's inspection methods.

Consumers Union spokesman Michael Hanson puts it all succinctly: "Their claim to such stunning success doesn't make any sense if you think about it. They have all these businesses that haven't been inspected and so the FDA says, 'We don't have any evidence that they're out of compliance, so we'll count them as following the rules.' And on top of that, they're relying on feed companies to self-report."

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