Peanut-gate: Will consumers still trust American food – your views
Source of Article: http://www.foodproductiondaily.com/Publications/Food-Beverage-Nutrition/FoodNavigatorUSA/Financial-Industry/Peanut-gate-Will-consumers-still-trust-American-food-your-views
salmonella contamination of peanut products has brought American food safety
under scrutiny causing some to question the value of the Made In America
Over the past week, we
have been asking industry and readers to share their views.
Below is a selection
of attributed responses.
“PCA is a poster-child
for this sad pattern of eight years of removing effective food safety regs and inspections.
“But you can take to
the bank that the process of restoring the safety brigades all across the
board here will be aggressive. So we will bounce back, as the Obama team is
fleshed out and settles into place in the government agencies.
“Will PCA damage the US
rep for clean foods? Sure. Moms REALLY care about what their families eat,
and Moms do the shopping. It does not matter if the Moms are American or
French or Brazilian or Chinese or Saudi. Peanut butter sales here have
nose-dived (except for organic!).”
President, Oldways, Boston, USA.
“As a food
manufacturer, safety is our primary concern. I have been following this
matter with special interest for that reason.
“In 2007 there was
also a well published recall of tahini (sesame
butter) due to a salmonella issue. We manufacture the same product and are
constantly put under pressure from some of our clients to compare ours against
cheaper offerings from overseas.
manufacturers do not follow the same sanitary standards that we are supposed
to follow here. Imported food goes through customs only with randomized
quality checks. The American consumer should learn that by saving money in a
foreign, dubious quality food product, it might be putting its health and
that of its family at risk.
“The US Food Industry
may have some flaws like the PCA story, but in general, it follows quality
and sanitation standards that are by far better than imported food staples
that we buy only because of the price, totally ignoring the conditions on
which they were made.”
Leopoldo Cruz, Dipasa USA, Inc.
“As a careful shopper,
I already buy locally-raised produce, when possible. I avoid products from China and produce grown outside the USA. And I am
momentarily more mindful of food contamination, since “peanut-gate”,
because this is a recurring issue.
have ranged from the recent “salad-gate” spinach and tomato fiascos to a decades-old
botulism scare, involving canned mushrooms. But, I can't grow my own food,
so, in the end, I must surrender to the American supermarket crapshoot, and
hope for the best.”
C.B. McCrossin, Margate,
“Hopefully this will
point out the need for a revamping of the USDA- FDA relationship and move
towards a coordinated group specifically working with the food industry and
make the inspection function much better spread among all industries to help
keep the food supply safe and effective. It always comes back to the company
having the desire to do the right things for the right reasons and not
cutting corners, which will eventually catch up to them.”
Earl C Christiansen,
Manager of Technical Services, Upstate Niagara Cooperative Inc.
“…As the DEMAND for
safe food grows, I expect a SUPPLY of foods certified to be safe to grow too.
It remains to be seen which “certifications” win over consumer confidence,
“When consumers lose
confidence in big business’s food (big brands), they will look for those
foods produced and offered for sale by small business and ma and pa. And if
processed foods are perceived as big business, I expect consumers actively
search for minimally processed foods, again produced and offered for sale
closer to home.
“Already the retail
brands for fresh fruits and produce sell more than the major brands. Few
consumers are aware that for the most part, their retailer brands originate
with the same big brands anyway.
“I’d wager that the
number of acres planted for home vegetable gardens blossoms in 2009, along
with the sale of new devices for disinfecting ready to eat produce and the
President, Johnson Diversified Products, Inc.