Monday, August 30, 2010

Use science? Go figure...

Guest Blogger: Drew DeBerry, Texas Deputy Agriculture Commissioner

Americans enjoy the safest food supply in the world. Unfortunately this reality has been undermined in recent weeks with opinions and comments about the recall of several hundred million eggs from Wright County Egg farm in Iowa.

Opinions are like noses - everybody has one - and I defend everyone's right to express theirs. While any illness resulting from certain eggs is a serious issue, it is important to remember some basic realities about our food production when voicing our opinions. The food our farmers and ranchers work so hard to provide is inspected at many levels before reaching the consumer. While the number of recalled eggs may sound alarming, we need to keep in perspective that these eggs only comprise 1 percent of the eggs produced in the nation.

Additionally, universities are doing exceptional work to enhance food safety. And it would be easy for me to reference some of the great work being done at my alma mater, Texas Tech University, or at Commissioner Staples' alma mater, Texas A&M University, to highlight scientifically-based facts and guidelines that are more than a headline reaction to this serious matter.

Instead, I thought I would go to a neutral corner and give both the Aggies and Red Raiders a break today. This article by Ohio State University food safety microbiologists brings to light some important facts we all should consider during this time when our health authorities track down the root cause of this outbreak and develop even better protocols to help ensure consumers are protected. When all else fails, maybe we should base our opinions on science...

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