The Associated Press’ Dan Caterinicchia wrote an update to Federal and corporate reaction to the recent barrage of pet food and human product recalls. From what we can find, it’s the only story Caterinicchia has written related to the pet food recall and clearly shows how much information he’s missing.
If I get a little snarky, please forgive me.
WASHINGTON –U.S. companies and federal regulators appear to be ramping up efforts to address consumer concern about a spate of recalls on imports of everything from toothpaste to pet food.
Great! Awesome! Some real action. We’d love to know more!
Supermarket operators Supervalu and Safeway are posting signs in stores and giving workers talking points, while Winn-Dixie has a corporate team at the ready for any emerging tainted products issues.
Signs? Talking points? What about real change? Oh, I dunno, what about working with suppliers to ensure quality standards?
TV ads from Safeway and the maker of Tylenol emphasize quality control and inspection of their products while the Food & Drug Administration updated its Web site and shuffled its PR staff to deal with a crush of questions from the public.
No, seriously. Is there anything being done beyond public relations? Website updates don’t stop toxic imports. Trust me, we tried.
Yet the public’s growing concerns could trigger action. The FDA assigned nearly a third of its 21-member communications team for more than a month to address questions about the pet food recall.
When you mean “trigger action” you mean temporarily reassignments. So if there’s an arsonist on the loose, the fire department’s “action” should be temporarily reassigning people to answer 911 calls? Dan, how are they going to actually stop the problem?
Reader alert: The next paragraph might just make your head explode.
The deaths of dozens of dogs and cats nationwide have been linked to imported pet food containing Chinese wheat gluten tainted with the chemical melamine. (Emphasis ours.)
How many times have dozens of reputable sources said it’s not dozens, but thousands of deaths? Oregon alone reported dozens of deaths. Dan Caterinicchia, we are sorely disappointed in your ability to Google. And it’s not just melamine, or just wheat gluten. Tsk. Tsk.
The FDA also started holding twice-a-week teleconferences, partly because it does not have money for national media ads.
This should be past tense. Held. They ended the calls weeks ago while the tainted pet food and melamine continued to expand into the human food supply. Did you get a chance to talk to Andrew Bridges? The other AP writer who’s been covering the pet food recall who was also on these calls?
“We rarely spend that much time with the media on a single issue … but it was evolving and a press release was not adequate,” said FDA spokesman Doug Arbesfeld.
Maybe the FDA should spend more time on issues of life and death.
More than 5 million people visited a Web site dedicated to the issue in April alone and consumers appear to trust the agency’s information since its recall pages routinely top searches done using Google Inc.’s engine, Arbesfeld said.
Oh, so you do know how to Google. But I would not equate top Google ranking with trust.
Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Supervalu also has a toll-free number for consumers and posts press releases and other items to its Web site, she added.
Did this strategy work well? The FDA’s toll-free number was swamped for weeks. And I’m sure you know how easy it is to find those recall press releases. Wow. Press releases on a website. Kudos for Supervalu. Kudos.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission also works with Customs to identify products that need inspection, said Julie Vallese, a spokeswoman.
The CPSC has recalled roughly 270 products this year, about 60 percent of which were made in China. It has been working directly with Chinese manufacturers since 2005 to ensure they understand U.S. safety regulations and that “you can’t pick and choose when to adhere,” Vallese said.
Apparently they still have a long way to go.
“When the U.S. says you met that safety regulation, it’s not just lip service,” Vallese said, adding that the Chinese are paying more attention.
No, but when the FDA says no amount of melamine is acceptable, that is just lip service.
Here’s a link to the full article in all it’s critical thinking glory.
(Thanks E. Hamilton)