Egg recall may indicate problems in US food safety oversight


The New York Times (8/25, B1, Martin) reports on the front page of its Business Day section that as the FDA begins investigating the salmonella outbreak linked to recalled eggs, “some consumer advocates say the huge egg recall highlights a broader and continuing problem at the heart of the nation’s largest food recalls: a highly complicated and often dysfunctional food safety system.” While the “FDA oversees the safety of eggs still in their shells…the Agriculture Department regulates liquid eggs that are used in industrial food production,” and has responsibility “for chickens and the grading of eggs for quality.” Yet, neither the FDA nor the Agriculture Department inspected either farm. And, although FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said that earlier implementation of new egg safety rules may have averted the outbreak, former FDA official Dr. David Acheson expressed doubts.