Government May Defund Veggie E.Coli, Salmonella Testing Program

Budget-crunching federal lawmakers are considering taking away funding from a government safety program that prevents your salads from getting certain potentially deadly toppings, such as e.coli and salmonella. The Microbiological Data Program, which tests 15,000 annual samples of fruits and veggies for the pathogens, costs $4.5 million annually and may be on the chopping block.

The L.A. Times reports the program’s critics say the MDP is redundant, duplicating the work that other agencies do, and that it leads to “unnecessary” recalls. But the naysayers overlook the fact that the MDP tests a much wider set of samples than other agencies. In comparison, the FDA screens 1,000 samples a year.

Would you prefer redundant bureaucracy or unsafe salad bars?

U.S. could drop screening for deadly strain of E. coli [L.A. Times]