Opinion: Killer cantaloupes

Opinion: College for dummies

Hannah Potes

Opinion: College for dummies

Robert Thomas Young

While the individual farms where the problems originate are usually forced to close and pay some small fines, the larger problem of ineffective regulation goes largely ignored. This is why contaminated food is making its way to our shelves.

Two years ago, I wrote a research paper on the meat industry, and I had to do a lot of research on the Food and Drug Administration. I soon found out the FDA had been slowly stripped of any actual duties of enforcement and provided almost no protection in terms of food safety.

I was shocked to find out that the FDA can’t even shut down a facility when violations occur during inspections. Even most of the recalls you hear about ground beef or ground turkey, which are in the millions of pounds, don’t actually get recalled. By the time these large companies release the information to the public and announce a recall, most of the meat has already been consumed.

So, people really aren’t protected by the recall system. The companies lose little money, as most of the people don’t even know they consumed tainted meat. The powerful lobbies of many of these large food producers have worked legislation to reduce the FDA’s enforcement power.

Companies cut corners to increase profit. Producing a good, safe product for a fair price is not enough. Companies want more and more, so the quality of our food is reduced in order to increase shareholder profit. Our groceries are cheapened, and people die of foodborne illnesses so these wealthy companies can attain a healthy fourth-quarter profit.

While we attempt to exploit greed as our engine of motivation and driving economic force (aka Capitalism), we must understand the effects caused when the fuel we use runs short. Profit over safety is immoral and should be illegal.