2/19/2008

Do food safety standards pass a cost/benefit test?

From Fox News:

The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Sunday ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of beef . . . .

The recall will affect beef products dating to Feb. 1, 2006, that came from Chino-based Westland/Hallmark Meat Co., the federal agency said. The company provided meat to various federal programs.

Officials estimate that about 37 million pounds of the recalled beef went to school programs, but they believe most of the meat probably has already been eaten.

"We don't know how much product is out there right now. We don't think there is a health hazard, but we do have to take this action," said Dr. Dick Raymond, USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety. . . .

No illnesses have been linked to the newly recalled meat, and officials said the health threat was likely small. . . .


Two facts: Most of the beef in the largest ever recall of beef has probably already been eaten. It doesn't seem as if anyone has gotten sick from eating it. I wonder how much of the cost of our food is due to this obviously very costly regulatory process. Huge amounts of food are thrown out. How much do you think that adds to the cost of food? "Health threat was likely small."

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1 Comments:

Anonymous Food safety worker said...

Mad cow disease takes a long duration to incubate, usually 8-10 years. Therefore no illness recorded at the moment does not mean there is no harmful effects. Plus, the downer syndrome has a high implication of BSE AS WELL AS other diseases, both long and short terms.

4/24/2008 1:39 PM  

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