NASHVILLE, Tenn. - There are
new rules that will affect all the food we eat.
The federal government is proposing some of the most sweeping changes to
food and safety in decades. It comes
after dozens of food recalls in the last year.
But some farmers are concerned about too much regulation.
5 Investigates talked with U.S Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack about the
changes. The secretary was in Nashville
for the annual Farm Bureau convention.
His department is working with the Food and Drug Administration on the
newly proposed rules that would mean new sanitation standards for large
says, "We have far too many illnesses and sicknesses in this country associated
with foodborne illnesses. " The
Secretary went on to say, "We are certainly tightening up our inspection
process. We are requiring a little bit
generation dairy farmer Bob Strasser has heard about the new rules which will
focus first on fruit and produce -- and on farms much larger than his. But he worries anytime the government starts
talking more regulation and red tape.
Strasser says, "I'm a little bit anti-government, so here we go, look
out somebody. There's not much positive
I can say.
year in Tennessee, the Department of
Health reported more than a thousand cases of Salmonella, 112 cases of Ecoli
and six cases of Listeria. Nationwide
more than 30 people died from Listeria after eating contaminated cantalopes.
says even though the milk industry is already extremely regulated, when there
is a problem with one type of food it affects everyone.
he understands some farmers are concerned about more regulation. But he says the sheer numbers of food-borne
illnesses require action. He says, "I
think you are going to see a much safer food system, but obviously until we get
those numbers down to zero, there will always be work to do.
government just opened a public comment period on the proposed rules. Then they review the comments and make
potential changes. So we are still
months away from the rules going into affect.
we are talking about those large industrial type farms.
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