Larry King Blows It On Unsafe Meat

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Bill Marler has posted a handy link to his Monday night appearance on Larry King Live on which he, and many others, were on to discuss meat safety. As Marler puts it, the discussion got sidetracked--I would say derailed--from food safety to whether eating meat is good for you or not. Among others, Colin Campbell, the committed vegan scientist who wrote The China Study, was given plenty of air space to argue no it is not.

Despite Marler's best efforts, and those of mothers and grandmothers of children sickened by eating meat contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, King refused to let anyone get a word in edgewise about the need to fix our food safety system.

Forgive me, but we know what needs to be done about food safety. As I am ever intoning, we need a single agency devoted to food safety that combines the safety functions of FDA and USDA. That agency needs to require and enforce a science-based safety system (of the HACCP type) for all foods, from farm-to-table.

Will we ever get it? Only if people like Larry King catch on to the problem and help generate enough public outrage to get Congress to move on food safety. King had the chance. He blew it.

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Marion Nestle is a professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University. She is the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, and Pet Food Politics. More

Nestle also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology at NYU and Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences at Cornell. She is the author of three prize-winning books: Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health (revised edition, 2007), Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety (2003), and What to Eat (2006). Her most recent book is Feed Your Pet Right: The Authoritative Guide to Feeding Your Dog and Cat. She writes the Food Matters column for The San Francisco Chronicle and blogs almost daily at Food Politics.

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