November 26, 2008

Security of food supply in doubt again, this time in America

By now we've all heard about the contaminated Chinese-made baby formula, recently traces of that same dangerous substance, Melamine, has been found in US made baby formula. It's terrible that the health of babies have been put at risk from this contamination. With the continued growth of globalization, unfortunately I suspect this won't be the last incident.

This brings me to my point: food security is the next area where we need to focus on. While there are some checks and balances built into the production and distribution systems, there aren't enough. There aren't enough FDA inspectors or checks in place in US or around the world where we get our food. Interestingly, the FDA recently opened an office in China to coordinate inspections of food shipped to the USA. This is a good first step but much more needs done.

The threat? Disgruntled employee(s) or an international terrorist organization. Now a wide spread contamination might be difficult, but regional one is very possible where thousands of people sicken or killed. And with the globalization of the news media it would likely cause a large uproar and scare that these attacks are designed to achieve.

Note to President-elect Obama: we need to improve the security of our food supply, period.

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