business news in context, analysis with attitude

In this case, it is exactly like comparing apples to oranges.

The Washington Post reports that with a massive food safety system overhaul being engineered by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has come a conflict with the nation's tree-fruit farmers, who believe that they are being treated in a nonsensical way.

According to the story, FDA "drew a line this year when proposing which fruits and vegetables would be subject to strict new standards: Those usually consumed raw would be included, while those usually cooked or processed would be exempt."

The Post goes on to say that "growers subject to the new rules could face a variety of new responsibilities, including regular testing of irrigation water, sanitizing canvas fruit-picking bags and keeping animals away from crops.

"Many tree-fruit farmers worry about the cost of such measures and say they would offer few safety benefits. They argue the FDA should focus more on foods that have caused deadly outbreaks, such as spinach and cantaloupes, and less on fruits that have a virtually flawless safety record, grow above the ground and, in some cases, have protective skins or rinds."

The Post also writes that the FDA is open to making changes - though nothing has happened yet.

"It’s complicated. It’s a big, transformational thing that we’re doing ... We’re creating a whole new food-safety system here, so we accept that it will take some time to get the rules right," says Michael Taylor, the FDA’s top food-safety official. "The point is, we want to target our standards where they will make a practical difference."
KC's View:
Few things in life are as frustrating as seeing a problem, seeing a common sense solution, and then running into a government bureaucracy that makes resolving the problem difficult or impossible. It'd be nice if legislative processes could be streamlined so that situations like these could be addressed without all the tsouris.