a reply to: seeker1963
People more often get sick because the meat they are eating has either been improperly cooked, or been contaminated with something either while the
animal was alive, when the meat was being processed, or when the meat was being packed. Its damned rare for someone to get genuinely sick because they
ate chicken which had been sat out waiting to go on the grill for longer than regulations stipulate. Now, you cooking at home, or on the BBQ, can do
whatever you like with your chicken, beef, what have you.
But the reason that standards have to be applied to these things and followed, is to cover the asses of the people in the supply chain. If an animal
is killed, slaughtered, and packaged within x time, assuming it is clean meat and not infected with a disease of some sort, the regulating bodies
involved can stamp it approved, because they KNOW that you the consumer are not going to get sick, and sue the retailer, the packing plant, the
slaughterhouse or the farm from which that material came.
There was a big scare some years ago, you will recall, about beef.
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), are related in that a cow with
BSE being consumed by a person, puts the person at risk of contracting CJD. The illness is lethal dangerous, and a horrible way to go.
Ecoli has also been responsible for massive product recalls from meat suppliers, and these recalls and concerns have without a doubt prevented
deaths, and not a few hundred here or there, but thousands. While everything looks peachy, you can look at these regulators and say "Heh, you are just
punching in and out and getting fat. You don't do anything worth doing!". But when people start dropping dead because they contract food poisoning or
even lethal bacterial and viral infections from their food, which has occurred before and will again without vigilance, those calling for a more
relaxed atmosphere around food, usually wind up looking pretty damned silly.
Now, that being said, and this will shock some of you...
I think that Mulvany made a good case, laid it out well, and has some good suggestions as to how to move forward with streamlining. The only concern
I would have about ANY of it, is that the total size of the regulatory power and workforce as employed by the numerous agencies involved in food
standards, must not reduce just because the number of regulatory bodies involved has shrunk. All the people ticking boxes for someone are going to
have to keep ticking them, regardless of which agency windbreaker they happen to walk around in while working away from the office. The work being
done to protect the food chain is necessary. Its damned stupid in some respects, given that some backward idiot thought that America deserved a little
chlorine with its chicken (which is fundamentally idiotic, by the way), and so how any organisation in a nation which accepts that could be anything
to do with food standards is beyond me...
But this stuff needs doing, and as long as the same workforce is available to make sure these checks and balances are applied to regulatory matters,
I think the proposals by Mulvany actually have legs.