Posted by: Opey | July 23, 2007

Dog Food, Easy Bake Ovens, and Canned Meat: What is Wrong With the Supply Chain?

Another Monday dawns here at Opey’s Oratory. While surfing through the television channels yesterday and roaming around the web this morning, I noticed an unsettling story that has not received the sort of coverage that it should. After sifting through the usual Iraq stories, stories about what idiot athlete did what this week and then the usual story about some politician saying one thing and then doing the other, I came across a story that told about a new recall issued by FDA. This recall is related to botulism that has been found in some cans of hot dog chili sauce and canned meat products. The FDA has since expanded that recall to 88 food products and 4 dog food products. Occasionally, accidents and things out of the control of producers do happen and a recall is needed and it is somewhat in the realm of understandable. However, this recall is only the latest in a string of recalls and warnings that the American people have experienced in the past year. There was the spinach issue, then there was a problem with onions at Taco Bell, then there was the original dog food contamination, and now even an American institution, the Easy Bake Oven, is no longer safe. Some of these problems are a result of poor conditions and regulations in Chinese manufacturing plants and farms. The dog food scandal, for instance, was so widespread because all of the products used the same base ingredient that originated in China. That tainted ingredient and these other recalls have raised calls for bans on Chinese imports, or strong restrictions to their entry into US markets. But what of these other recalls that have nothing to do with China. Are we simply shifting the blame for this situation from US regulators and inspectors to China, a country with which we are competing for world economic superiority? As I have written before, I am an ardent supporter of the process of globalization and greater free trade. There are problems that do arise from those two ideas. Chiefly among them is the problem of multiple sets and layers of regulations and authority. The best way to deal with such problems would be to have the WTO step in and act as a final and global regulator for international commerce and products, but that raises questions of what is often referred to as “protectionism by other means.” And besides all of that, there is a lot that needs to be done domestically to insure that the domestic food supply and other products are safe. In addition to greater international scrutiny, the US needs to focus on domestic producers and supply chains to insure their security and safety. China may have a “poison train” that makes stops in the U.S., but we have our own that makes stops domestically from time to time and that needs to be corrected.


  1. Dog foods should be as natural and organic possible because it is more healthy compared to synthetic based dog foods. *..`’

    Till next time

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