If you like spinach you might not want to read a new report from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform called “FDA and Fresh Spinach Safety.”
Kosher certification is the new darling of health-conscious consumers who misguidedly believe that biblically blessed health standards can reign in the excesses of commercial food production. Even Chinese exporters are betting that kosher certification can convince foreign consumers that their wares are safe. To companies, certification is just a marketing tool: it lends the aura of safety without offering any actual food safety benefits.
Many Chinese companies were unfamiliar with the concept: One furniture maker asked for kosher certification, drawing a polite rebuff. Another facility asked to get certified as kosher even though it was smoking eel on site, a kosher no-no. The company was turned down; it is now building a separate, kosher-only facility.
From the “boring but important” category of meat-related news, the Consumer Federation of America has joined with other advocacy groups as well as union and labor groups, under the assistance of men and women in Congress, to work out a compromise in response to July’s ill-conceived attempt by Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson to do away with the federal inspections requirement for interstate meat sales. The new plan augments Peterson’s measure in a way that ensures state-inspection procedures meet or exceed federal ones.