Photo Credit: Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Although it seems that there is a new food recall every week, MSNBC reports that president Obama's proposed budget would eliminate the nation's only program that tests fresh produce for dangerous bacteria including salmonella, listeria and E. coli. These tests trigger nationwide recalls, preventing illnesses or even deaths.
The decision to cut the $5 million program was made after the United States Department of Agriculture decided that other federal and state agencies are better equipped to perform these tests.
While food safety avocates are protesting the decision, some food industry associations will be happy if this change is made. Many of these organizations claim that food recalls have cost growers millions of dollars and they have pushed the government to end the program and rely on private companies to test for safety.
Some experts suggest that the Food and Drug Administration (which does not test produce) could team up with the Center for Disease Control and other state agencies to collect data, but no move has yet been made.