Can I Mix Ready To Feed With Powder Formula Texas Could Be At Greater Risk For Food Contamination

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Texas Could Be At Greater Risk For Food Contamination

The food and vitamin supply in the United States may not be as safe as we think, according to recent reports. This year’s pet food scare prompted a thorough investigation into the nation’s regulations on human food and vitamin safety, and the results were negative.

Many of the products that create the most severe problems are distributed nationally – from Texas, to New York, to Missouri, and to the country’s supermarket, discount store, and food chain drug stores. States like Texas may be at particular risk, as many products are imported legally or illegally across the border. It’s almost guaranteed that any supermarket in any town or city in the state, from Dallas, to Houston, to Austin, is likely to be carrying imported products with nutritional records and contaminated vitamins. The implications of this for healthcare institutions and health insurance, not to mention public health in general, are astronomical. If a series of outbreaks occurs, it could prove particularly dangerous in Texas, where 25% of its residents are uninsured, and the health system is already overburdened.

According to Peter Kovacs, a food industry executive and consultant for forty years, “the US is sitting in a powder keg,” ready for food contamination issues to explode. Most of the country’s food producers are very cautious about their products, he said. They have learned to trace their ingredients directly to their sources, and test them regularly. This is not required, however, and many manufacturers do not, especially if the products are considered low risk – such as pet food.

This is exactly what happens when animal feed is contaminated with wheat protein from China. China, which already has a reputation for exporting contaminated food and vitamins, wheat protein is exported to companies that have added melamine and cyanuric acid to increase the visible protein content and price. This supposedly high protein content is one of the main reasons why more expensive brands, like Iams, have been hit hard. Believing they were buying a stronger product, they, instead, ended up contaminating millions of pounds of food because of a single ingredient.

Recalls are common — they don’t always make national news. In recent months, there have been recalls of milk, olives, bottled water, bread, cooked fruit trays, watermelon, oysters, and peanut butter, for reasons ranging from dangerous levels of salmonella,listeria, andarsenic, to pieces of wire in food. . Last year the spinach e-coli scare came from Natural Selection Foods in San Juan Bautista, CA, and lead is often found in vitamins and dietary supplements. It is estimated that 76 million fall victim to illness and 5,000 die each year in the US due to food contamination.

Just in February, ConAgra Foods recalled widely distributed peanut butter due to salmonella content, which, in turn, was due to poor conditions in one of their plants. Europe recently dodged a bullet when it discovered just before the product hit the market, that Chinese-made vitamin A used to supplement infant formula was contaminated.

A big part of the problem in the US is the Food and Drug Administration’s gross underfunding and lack of regulation. Exports have doubled since 2002 to nine million shipments a year, and the FDA has the equipment to inspect one percent of them. Most of those imports come from countries that do not have strict controls on their products, and regular testing before they reach the US market is not possible.

Michael Doyle, director of the Center for Food Security at the University of Georgia, said “… You should know. Two years ago, the FDA suspected that Cold Stone Creamery was responsible for salmonella outbreaks in four states, but their painfully outdated labs could not detect the bacteria. The samples were shipped to Doyle, whose lab received them. The FDA simply “doesn’t have the resources,” he said.

Dr. David A Kessler, former FDA Commissioner, would agree. “Our food security system in this country is broken,” he said.

In fact, many former FDA employees agree. William Hubbard, a senior policy official who left the FDA in 2005, warned a decade ago that the amount of imported food was increasing, while the FDA’s ability to control those goods was decreasing. Attempts to resolve the situation were presented to Congress and quickly rejected. Five years ago, they tried again with a 100 million import security plan, which is very cheap by today’s standards. The FDA also requested the authority to ban food shipments from countries “repeatedly in contact with contaminated products.” Both motions were soundly rejected.

The fact that food manufacturers spend a million dollars a year lobbying against stricter laws, and big powers, like Wal-Mart, oppose stricter regulations, port inspections, and country of origin labeling, doesn’t help. These companies will lose business, and they make sure Congress knows it. Wal-Mart alone is China’s eighth largest trading partner, and 10% of all exports go to the company. China’s agricultural exports to the US totaled $2.26 billion last year alone, and 90% of all vitamin C sold in the US is made there. Enforcing stricter regulations would effectively ban most of the products offered today in the US market.

On May 2 of this year, after widespread outbreaks affecting one product after another – from spinach, to pet food, to toothpaste, to vitamins – Congress finally acted by passing legislation allowing the FDA to create a database of contaminated food. It seems very simple, but until now, the organization did not have the capacity or the resources to electronically track contaminated shipments in a detailed manner, and then disseminate the information accordingly.

Hubbard says it can’t stop there, however, and suggests modeling the FDA after the USDA. While the USDA only inspects meat – and the FDA everything else – the USDA has ten times more inspectors, has the power and resources to send them to foreign plants, and can deny the entry of products from any company that does not comply with safety. standards, and limits meat shipments to just a few ports to streamline the process. The FDA can’t do that. The FDA, in fact at this point, has the resources to respond to ongoing problems.

The average American citizen at this time can take action by lobbying Congress to pass stricter laws, and by buying as much local food as possible. Locally produced food is not a guarantee, of course, that contamination will not occur, but at least consumers can see where their products are produced, and ask questions of those who actually grow them. As always, the best advice seems to be common sense and caution.

Being aware of food safety is an important part of looking after your health. The way you take care of yourself will definitely affect you as you age, and ultimately your wallet, too. If you are a young person trying to stay informed and maintain a healthy condition and lifestyle, you should look into the flexible, comprehensive and affordable health insurance solutions that Precedent has created especially for you. Visit our website, [http://www.precedent.com], for more information. We offer a unique and innovative suite of individual health insurance solutions, including highly competitive HSA plans, and an unmatched “real-time” application and approval process.

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