6. USDA introduces the National Organic Program and seal
This isn’t the primary reason organic produce continues to rise in popularity and become mainstream, but the seal gives organic food the credibility it needs in the marketplace.
7. Food safety gets extra scrutiny in wake of Sept. 11 attacks
Food safety has gotten more important in the last 10 years, but it’s been E. coli, salmonella and listeria causing the most damage, not terrorists targeting the food supply, as we were afraid in 2002.
8. USDA lifts ban on Spanish clementines
As 2002 started, U.S. citrus growers wanted to keep the Spanish fruit out on a phytosanitary basis, but there were no doubt competitive reasons as well. Ten years later, U.S. growers were so good at producing clementines of their own, that they can’t keep up with consumer demand.
9. President Bush intervenes in West Coast port labor dispute.
The president used the Taft-Hartley Act. What else needs to be said?
10. U.S. bans Mexican cantaloupes
Mexican cantaloupes had salmonella outbreaks in 2000, 2001 and 2002, leading to the October ban. As the industry has seen the last two years, cantaloupe food safety remains a huge problem.
So that’s weather problems, trade disputes, government influence on produce and food safety the big topics 10 years ago. So much for change.