Tom Karst
Tom Karst

The voting is good but the discussion is even better.

The poll question  "How could third party audits for fresh produce be improved?" is getting a lot of ​attention in the Fresh Produce Industry Discussion Group. The poll was posted six days ago (voting will continue for a month) and there have been 24 votes and 13 comments so far.

Here are the answers so far:

  • Current practices work well enough      5 (20%)
  • Retailers should pay for audits      9 (37%)
  • All audits should be unannounced      10 (41%)
  • Auditors should be chosen randomly      0 (0%)

 

A coalition of industry groups believes that one way to improve the FDA food safety oversight is NOT to raise fees. Check out a letter to the HHS in advance of the fiscal year 2013 budget request from the Obama Administration.

From the letter: 

As you know, the administration’s FY 2012 budget request proposed raising revenue to fund implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) through new food safety fees. Such fees were rejected during congressional consideration of FSMA and were again rejected last year by congressional appropriators. As consumers continue to cope with a period of pro-longed economic turbulence and food makers struggle with record high commodity prices, the creation of new food taxes or regulatory fees would mean higher costs for food makers and lead to higher food prices for consumers. As such, we believe imposing new fees on food makers is the wrong option for funding food safety programs.

 Other news worth noting today:  The Economist looks at Alabama's costly immigration law, Freshfel talks up Peru, the National Restaurant Association has a bullish forecast,  Oregon State touts a purple tomato,  Pipfruit NZ issues a forecast, a produce price war Down Under, USDA unveils plant hardiness zone map and Sinaloa tomato struggles.

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E-mail me at tkarst@thepacker.com