Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Food recall and the executive privilege

Most Americans still do not know the full extent of the recent peanut food recall.

I ask you: what is the role of government in a society? Recent events have brought to attention the contamination of different foods. Before, the outbreak concerned spinach, then cows and now it’s salmonella-ridden peanuts.

Many Americans still do not know the full range of products affected by the recent recalls of products from the National Peanut Corporation. As the NPC makes everything from pet foods to ice cream, the outbreak goes beyond peanuts.  

Now what does this say about government?

It could be that there is too much bureaucracy or perhaps not enough. However, there needs to be a balance since too much intervention might cause inefficiency.  

This means that the problem here is not the system and administration.  

The problem lies in the guidelines and procedures.

It might seem obvious that the government should mandate food recalls whenever they want. This seems that the government is getting itself too deeply involved in corporate situations.  

When the government becomes too involved in a certain business sector, it makes that sector inefficient, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

The goal of the government is to protect the rights of the people. This goal can be achieved through the effectiveness and expediency of executive privilege.  

Obama should be able to make decisions that respect and respond to what the public needs without the hassle of congressional approval, or lobbyist interests.

Currently the rules and wording of the recalls have to be approved by the company before the FDA can publish the warning. The FDA relies on cooperation from vendors even if they are under criminal investigation.  

In the case of the most recent salmonella outbreak, the government knew about the affected products before they were recalled by the NPC.

Tests in January 2007 showed traces of salmonella. However, nothing could be done until the peanut cooperation decided to recall (injuryboard.com).

With the application of the executive privilege, Obama will be able to mandate a recall without consent from the company, or companies and make operations more efficient. The contaminated products will be off the store shelves faster and not become an escalating problem.

As seen in previous situations of spinach and beef, a quick response saves more hassle and eliminates other procedures, such as company approval,   that might delay the recall of a product.  

Obama needs to learn from former president Bush that the effective usage of the executive privilege can make government operations much more efficient.

If you are concerned that your foods might be related in any way to this recent outbreak, please check ( www.fda.gov ).

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  • B

    BTanMar 11, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    Instead of concentrating power on one individual, the President, government should set policies to enable corporations and big businesses to move towards self-regulation. At present there are too many loopholes and lack of accountability. CEO and big business are putting profit first and foremost, social responsibility becomes mostly a marketing gimmick.

  • B

    BMar 6, 2009 at 8:36 am

    Wow, I had no idea that the president is supposed to keep us safe by the sovereign writ of his hand! Here I was thinking that executive power in the US was constrained by and held in accord with the enacted laws of the congress and the SCOTUS.

    I guess not! Thank god we got faster, more efficient government out of the deal. And look, this wonderful concept is spreading! The Leader can keep evidence out of a court (Mohamed et al v Jeppesen) and he can even protect previous Leaders from persecution for their blatant and extensive law breaking (Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation v. George W. Bush). All this to keep me safe, which is what government is for.