Sunday, March 15, 2009

Obama's Focus on Food Safety Laws

President Obama wants to upgrade America's food safety laws for the 21st century. Laws alone will do nothing. Causes must be addressed, production process improved.

Salmonella peanut butter and e coli ground beef sickened many. The companies used laws to limit their exposure. They declared bankruptcy. WaPo reported:

"There are certain things only a government can do," Obama said. "And one of those things is ensuring that the foods we eat, and the medicines we take, are safe and do not cause us harm."

Wrong, only producers of food and medicine can assure their products are safe. Producers make products. They're now worldwide. Poisonous heparin arose from hundreds of Chinese home labs. An American firm contracted production through a joint venture. The FDA dragged its feet for months, exposing more patients to potential harm. Many chemicals used in pharmaceuticals are made in China, a country with a concerning quality record.

Repeatedly, Chinese firms substitute dangerous ingredients to maximize profits. Cases involve more than blood thinner. They include pet food, infant formula, milk, candy, cough syrup, toys, and tires.

America knows the cost of poor quality. Wall Street imploded as a result of profit maximization, greed and leverage. Politics is infected with hypercompetition and both parties desire to keep the fundraising spigot wide open.

The world needs transformation of management. New laws won't make things safer. A return to quality is needed. Instead, corporate board rooms and America's hallowed halls of government want to restart greed and leverage. Buyer beware remains. Profound knowledge is lacking.

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