Friday, May 11, 2007

Yesterday, May 10th, the FDA, in conjunction with the USDA, held a press conference in Washington DC, the transcript of which is here. The transcript contains many things that are astonishing, including great praise for the "cooperation" of the Chinese government, but more on that later. What struck Molly while reading this document is the refusal of the FDA/USDA to name a second Illinois company that imported so-called "rice protein concentrate". This refusal has been discussed in the blogosphere and the company concerned has been named both on the internet and in the pages of the Chicago Tribune. Please refer back to May 8th on this blog to see the report on Cereal Byproducts Company and how they slyly reported their recall on May 4th. Their recall notice still !!! is not listed on their corporate website, which hasn't been updated since April 16th, 2003. Attempts to reach "home" from their recall notice merely turn you around to the same recall notice. Like the FDA and the USDA Cereal Byproducts Company refuses to name the pet food manufacturers that they distributed their product to.
I guess they figure that if the government can "take the fifth" that they can too. The "proper procedure" of the FDA/USDA in this matter has reached truly bizarre proportions. When a name is already public knowledge they are under the strange impression that their refusal to give such a name carries some weight or significance. Maybe it does- with an increasingly small percentage of the population that think that they are competent guardians of the public welfare. I say "take the fifth" for the following reason. The FDA/USDA certainly knows what so many other people know. They thinks that by appearing to be "objective" and hiding things that they will escape the inevitable "what did you know and when" questions. It's a corporate strategy that has shown up time and again during this scandal. rather than being forthright at all times they have adopted a strategy that has more to do with their image (and perhaps protecting industry friends) than with actually protecting the public.
Let's see what the next few weeks bring.

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