National Editor Tom Karst
National Editor Tom Karst

I read on Drudge today that Romney's lead over Obama with white voters is now 20%. I wonder how big the lead is for Romney among California and Arizona fresh produce growers...

Prohibitive, I'd say. News yesterday that WG endorsed Romney, with Tom Nassif praising Romney's support of individual rights, less regulatory red tape, more balanced enforcement of government regulations and  relief from the income, estate and capital gains tax burden. Also important: Romney's receptivity to growers' need for a  dependable and legal workforce.

I guess the White House garden didn't count for much, after all.

As we watched Michael Phelps and the women's gymnastic team last night, I wondered why fruit and vegetable companies don't get more involved with the Olympics. Sure, it might be the $80 million price tag for an Olympic sponsorship, but wouldn't it be great to see Frieda's, Melissa's, Dole, Fresh Del Monte, etc.,  feeding the U.S. team? A guy can dream a little...

Have you heard about good ole' water?  Research here that says there is nearly nothing better than washing produce with water to reduce the threat of pathogens, notwithstanding other cocktails that purport to deliver food safety. . From the abstract in Food Protection Trends:

Some treatments were more effective than running tap water for specific pathogen-produce combinations, but no treatment produced greater reductions than tap water for all tested combinations.

In a related topic,  Rep. Rosa DeLauro continues to hammer on the importance of the doomed Microbiological Data Program, and does so by ripping a recent headline to support her case. From a release yesterday:

WASHINGTON, DC—Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) released the following statement today on a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recall of possibly contaminated cantaloupes.  Samples of the fruit shipped to New York State and Maine from North Carolina tested positive for Listeria.  The Microbiological Data Program (MDP) identified the contaminated melons, just weeks after Administration officials announced the program, which had been in danger of closing, will be funded through the end of the year.

 “Today’s announcement reinforces MDP’s value and the need to continue the program that supports roughly 80 percent of produce sampling in America,” DeLauro said.  “Just a year after the deadliest outbreak in a decade, it is encouraging that no illnesses have been reported in the latest event.  However, we must remain vigilant and invest in the programs and agencies that keep American families safe to prevent an outbreak like last year’s

 “Through its critical research, MDP helps protect us from foodborne illnesses and today’s announcement is an illustration of how that research helps us all.  I want to reiterate my call to the Administration to fund MDP in next year’s budget request, and many years to come.”

 MDP supports data collection by the states on possible bacterial contamination of produce—data that is important to improving food safety.  It is the only program dedicated to improving our understanding of bacterial contamination in produce.

TK: Folks like Bill Marler and Rosa DeLauro won't let go of MDP without a fight, and the battle isn't over yet.