Further evidence that the government is too slow and inefficient to react and that the private space will always do a better job:
On Tuesday federal officials said that there had been at least 19 previous outbreaks involving more than 1,000 illnesses and three deaths resulting from cantaloupe consumption since 1984. The current outbreak, caused by cantaloupes grown in Colorado, has sickened more than 70 people and killed at least 13, making it the deadliest food-borne outbreak in the United States in more than a decade.
“I don’t think the cantaloupe industry can continue on doing the very same thing and expecting a different result,” said Craig Wilson, the head of food safety for Costco, the Seattle-based warehouse retailer, which is regarded as a leader in requiring food safety measures from its suppliers.
Why would a private company do this?
It turns out that a company is more profitable when its products don’t kill its customers.
“This is an excuse. The budget deficit is an excuse for the Republicans to undermine government plain and simple. They don’t just want to make cuts, they want to destroy. They want to destroy food safety, clean air, clean water, the department of education. They want to destroy your rights.”
The federal government has spent years considering whether to take steps to help keep dangerous strains of E. coli bacteria out of the food supply, a question that has become even more urgent in the face of a deadly wave of E. coli sickness that swept through Europe and raised alarms on both sides of the Atlantic.
Now, two major American companies, Costco Wholesale and Beef Products Inc., have gotten tired of waiting for regulators to act. They are proceeding with their own plans to protect customers.
Last month, Costco, one of the nation’s largest food retailers, quietly began requiring its suppliers of bagged produce, including salad greens and mixes, apple slices and baby carrots, to test for a broad range of toxic E. coli.
“We know this is where we have to go and there’s no reason to wait,” said Craig Wilson, the food safety director of Costco. In the last two weeks, he said, most produce suppliers have added a test that can detect the strain from the European outbreak as well.
We don’t need government to test our food.
Milton Friedman in a knockout.