1 No 5
REALLY REGULATES OUR FOOD SAFETY?
subject seems to be like the Energizer Bunny – we can’t shut
doesn’t mean we don’t want your feedback. Please! Keep it coming!
really appreciate those of you from other countries who have
expressed their concern and see the same problems we’re seeing
here in the US. Looks like this isn’t just our problem!!!
Note to Maneem - Yes, we’re sorry too that you don’t have our
Constitution. We can only hope that we still have it!)
you’ll remember, we approached problems with imported food quality
in earlier newsletters and in the course mentioned some foreign
(international) organizations which severely affect our ability
to determine and enforce our own food standards. These organizations
all sourced back to the United Nations and treaties resultant
from our membership in the UN. Some of the comments we’ve received
are tantamount to saying “Can’t happen - that’s unconstitutional!”.
Not being jurists, we can’t comment competently on that idea.
But, we can tell you how governments commonly get around internal
restraints on conduct. It’s done through the treaty route. In
many cases, treaties abrogate rights and privileges domestically
mandated. Whether any treaty can contravene the American Constitution
or not is for you to decide, since you’re the “sovereign citizen”,
but this has clearly happened by any traditional test, on many
occasions prior and up to the present day.
it comes to the UN and food safety, the World Health Organization
(WHO) formed the Codex Alimentarius Commission which, in turn,
has committees meeting to make recommendations on world standards
for the different food safety considerations. Regarding importation
of foods, the following is an executive summary of a recent
Codex Committee meeting:
Codex Committee on Food Import and Export
Inspection and Certification Systems - 8th Session,
Committee agreed to:
Revise the proposed draft guidelines for food import
control systems for further comment and consideration at its
Forward the proposed draft guidelines for generic official
certificate formats and the production and issuance of certificates
to the Executive Committee for preliminary adoption;
Revise the proposed draft guidelines for the utilization
and promotion of quality assurance systems for further comment
and consideration at its next meeting;
Proceed with the development of proposed draft guidelines
on the judgement of equivalence of sanitary
measures associated with food inspection and certification
systems subject to approval by the Executive Committee as new
Proceed with the development of proposed draft guidelines
on the judgement of equivalence of technical
regulations associated with food inspection and certification
systems for comment and consideration at its next meeting;
Examine the Codex Guidelines for the Exchange of Information
in Food Control Emergency Situations to determine whether or
not the development of risk management guidelines for food control
emergency situations involving international trade was necessary;
Examine at its next meeting a document on the need
for guidance on food export control systems.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - -
emphasized a couple of phrases because they contain a word we’ve
run across before – equivalence. Remember also that equivalence
is determined by whether an inspection rule exceeds the Codex’
standards, not those of our USDA or FDA. See the Post Script
to this newsletter.)
the picture clearer now? This is how treaties take away national control – our elected representatives
voluntarily give up our sovereign powers and willingly
place us in the hands of others. Like Blanche (in “Gone with
the Wind”), we “depend on the kindness of strangers.” Because
we’re still at the top of the food safety chain, “equivalence”
can only mean lower food safety standards since no one else
has chosen to achieve our levels of expertise and effectiveness.
It’s also why we now have extreme concern about our foods.
in the food industry, we naturally have far more information
than you do. We also have a duty and desire to share this information
with you, so you can judge for yourself whether things are going
the way you want or not. Very clearly, we’re disturbed
across the board and alarmed in some instances. For now, all
we can do is urge you to protect yourselves and your children
from the decline in our food safety inspection systems. Not
all the problems are regulatory in nature. Technology has created
processing speeds and distribution systems which the USDA and
FDA have not been equipped to handle. The states regulate a
lot of food safety considerations. They’re even farther behind
(with a few shining exceptions.) The upshot of all this??
you and we don’t do whatever it takes, politically, personally
and as the American community, our situation will simply continue
this what you want?
Those readers with Internet capability can go to:
This site contains the Codex statement that
its standards for food safety will govern all international
(read: big NAFTA problem) trade in foods. As UN members,
we are ruled by these standards. So, don’t blame your FDA, USDA
or state inspector when we get clobbered or killed by imported
diseases or poisons from time to time. Again, their job’s currently
impossible. And, we’ll import at least 30 billion tons
of food this year! We will
probably see an expansion of NAFTA in 2003
- 2005 from Ellesmere Island, Canada in the Arctic to Tierra
Del Fuego, Argentina – almost Pole to Pole! At least, that’s
the plan as of now. Are the USDA and FDA - are we - really
ready for this?? Hmmmmmm??
(At this writing, Bar-S and USDA have just
announced the recall of 14,500,000 pounds
of processed meat products due to listeria
contamination. Listeriosa is a potentially fatal food contamination
disease. We have serious domestic food safety problems, too!!)
And we had exported some of this to Mexico, so the NAFTA problems
aren’t all one-way!!