Senate Panel Probes Food Inspection System: Maine Senator Prompted by Outbreaks Disease

By Shulman, Andrew | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), August 23, 1998 | Go to article overview

Senate Panel Probes Food Inspection System: Maine Senator Prompted by Outbreaks Disease


Shulman, Andrew, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


A Senate subcommittee is investigating whether the system for ensuring food safety is breaking down as production increasingly becomes international.

Sen. Susan M. Collins, head of the governmental affairs subcommittee on investigations, says she decided to focus on the issue "when two cases, or outbreaks rather, of food-borne illnesses that affected people in Maine" came to her attention.

The incidents involved frozen strawberries from Mexico, blamed for an outbreak of hepatitis, and raspberries from Guatemala tainted with cyclospora, a parasite that causes diarrhea.

"The safety of food imports is literally a life-and-death issue for many Americans, especially our children and our elderly," the Maine Republican said as hearings began.

In a report presented to the subcommittee, the General Accounting Office warned that federal efforts to ensure food safety are "inconsistent and unreliable."

"The GAO's report represents a very serious indictment of our current regulatory structure," Miss Collins said in an interview. "It gave a lot of examples of inspectors being more concerned with whether paperwork was filled out correctly than with whether or not the shipment was actually safe."

Inspections of food imported into the United States are done by the Agriculture Department's Food Safety and Inspection Service and the Food and Drug Administration. FSIS inspects meat and poultry; the FDA inspects everything else.

FSIS requires exporters of poultry and meat products to have food safety systems equivalent to those in the United States.

The FDA requires that imported food meet U.S. standards; it does not have the authority to require equivalent systems in other countries.

That means the FSIS places the burden of inspections on exporting countries, while the burden is on the FDA to inspect goods as they enter America.

"The problem is that the FDA in particular does not do a good job with its current resources," Miss Collins said.

The GAO report found several flaws in the inspection process: The FDA can not ensure that foods are being produced under adequately controlled conditions; it only inspects 2 percent of all foreign shipments; and some organisms, like cyclospora, cannot be detected by visual inspection and laboratory tests are inadequate.

One of the experts who testified at hearings, Mary Ellen Camire, chairwoman of the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at the University of Maine, said unsanitary conditions in exporting nations contribute to the problem.

"While tourists are advised to `not drink the water' while in such countries," Ms. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Senate Panel Probes Food Inspection System: Maine Senator Prompted by Outbreaks Disease
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.