Saturday, March 26, 2011

Federal Budget Cuts Threaten American Food Safety

Heated debate continues in American politics, as lawmakers seek to cut the budget while maintaining critical programs. Throughout the process, watchdog NGOs have been on the hunt, lobbying for issues that relate to their cause.

Among the most well known and spirited food safety advocates is Food and Water Watch (F&WW). The organization works to insure the availability of clean drinking water and safe food and has a reputation for blowing the whistle on government corruption.

According to F&WW, these are some of the cuts that could endanger American food and water supplies:

 - Major cuts in funding for water infrastructure repair. This money is necessary to keep clean, safe and affordable water flowing to American homes. Rural and small communities could be among the hardest hit as they are more dependent on these funds.

 - Cuts to the Meat Inspection Program in 2011 and 2012 could result in less meat inspections and more imported meat in our supermarkets.

 - Underfunding of the FDA's food safety program may result in less inspection of imported food, and less frequent inspection of domestic facilities.

F&WW is also among the many organizations that are currently speaking out against funding for federal fishing "catch share" programs. These programs are known to reduce fleet size, put fishermen out of business and create "fishing corporations".

While some catch share programs can have benefits for fishermen, dismantling fishing fleets and destroying local communities and replacing them with mega-fishing companies is not in the best interest in American consumers.

Perhaps if more organizations bring these issues into the public eye, consumers will vote out those that are behind these costly and damaging campaigns.

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