The peanut contanimation and the subsequent recall have been documented in terms of illnesses, deaths and massive product recalls. Now there is a cost estimate in terms of the financial consequences:
“The U.S. peanut industry could lose $1 billion because of an outbreak of salmonella that has caused the biggest food recall in U.S. history, Georgia’s peanut commissioner said on Wednesday.”
This estimate may be a conservative figure, as the consequences are ongoing. For example, the recall has shut down the Peanut Corporation of America and eliminated jobs. In this economy, those people will be pressed to find comparable paying employment.
The salmonella concern and the consequences point to the importance of having an effective and efficient Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There are arguments that government has to be prudent in spending, especially when the national debt is at such a staggering amount. Nevertheless, the impact of just one contaminated product has shown the dire consequences in terms of human tragedy and financial loss. It is a matter of national security, on so many levels, that there is a restructured FDA that is able to protect the food supply and the American consumer. To not address this problem simply is ignoring the data.