Mar 30, 2007

Every once in a great while (and I mean a great while), an opportunity arises where politics and common sense might interact to a positive end. Such is the case with the recent mass recall of contaminated pet food. From this story, a relevant excerpt:
One veterinarian suggested the international sourcing of ingredients would force the U.S. "to come to grips with a reality we had not appreciated."

"When you change from getting an ingredient from the supplier down the road to a supplier from around the globe, maybe the methods and practices that were effective in one situation need to be changed," said Tony Buffington, a professor of veterinary clinical sciences at Ohio State University.

The FDA's Sundlof said the agency may change how it regulates the pet food industry.

"In this case, we're going to have to look at this after the dust settles and determine if there is something from a regulatory standpoint that we could have done differently to prevent this incident from occurring," he said.
There are few things more horrifying to me than the idea of someone losing a pet (or, for that matter, a human family member) because some nameless, faceless organization acted with wanton neglect. Who do you blame? And really, what the fuck does it matter at that point? It's inexcusable on every level, and the only solution is to address and correct the systemic issues.

So while expanded government regulation is generally a bad idea, here we have a situation where it actually makes sense. And if such regulation means that more food producers find it prudent to start sourcing their ingredients locally, all the better. It's a win-win.

I should note, though, that my argument is limited to the safety of the food, and not the relative merit of the food.

I have a feeling that Bryan might have something to add here...