California: Land of the Strictest Food Safety Standards
When it comes to our food supply, Americans don’t know how good we have it. A recent piece online – “21 Foods Made In China You Should Never Eat” – offers some grim examples of contaminated food imported from China – everything from chicken and vegetables to fish and fruit juices.
Inspections have turned up food containing feces and mud and wax, as well as abnormally large quantities of pesticides exceeding the safe levels we have in the United States. Other products have been mislabeled so you don’t always know what you are getting.
This should come as little surprise, really. Regulations in the rest of the world just aren’t up to what we have here for fresh, frozen and processed foods from other countries.
“The way it is manufactured, they don’t have the same laws and regulatory systems that we do in the U.S. Inherently, yeah, imported food manufactured overseas is probably riskier, ” Dan Solis, the FDA Director of Import Operations in Los Angeles, said in the story.
California standards, especially with regard to pesticides, are even greater in most cases than what the EPA and FDA allow. This is important because California farmers supply the nation with its fresh, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables.
Because of this, it is crucial that we try to ensure that farmers continue to be able to grow our food in California and the rest of the country. Our farmers adhere to incredibly high standards that protect consumers and the environment. Any new regulations should be viewed in this global context. California farmland continues to decline; to continue pushing farmers off their land with increasingly excessive regulations, taxes and paper pushing is short-sighted and offers questionable benefits when looking at the big picture.
To ignore this reality, is to create a direct threat to our food security and forces people to rely on imported food from countries that have less regard for food safety, pesticide use, ethical labor practices and the environment. Those who don’t care about our own domestic food supply are guilty of doing more harm to consumers and the environment.
It’s high time we stop taking our food for granted.