FDA Peanut Recall Continues After Critical Report

Need for recall might intensify calls for regulation

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The recall of peanut products linked to a salmonella scare has expanded. A peanut processing plant in Georgia is recalling all of the products it put out in the last two years after an FDA report claimed it distributed contaminated goods.  The FDA has a list of all the products affected, and notes that the recalls thus far do not affect the ordinary peanut butter jars you'd find in a grocery store.

My post from last week looked at previous regulatory responses to recalls of contaminated products, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in particular. The latest news on that issue comes from Walter Olson at Forbes.  The law's sponsors in Congress--such as Henry Waxman--have attempted to compromise with the law's critics by allowing an exemption for children's apparel consisting entirely of fabric and ordinary children's books.

Olson argues that these exemptions don't go nearly far enough:

The semi-exemption for children's books--which would not extend to maps, birthday invitations, origami paper, homeschooling kits or drawing pads--is described by the congressmen at one point as covering books "that have no unusual components or materials beyond those of an ordinary book," and only a page later as covering books "that have no painted, plastic or metal components."

Apparently, as CPSIA critic Rick Woldenberg of Learning Resources Inc. has noted, it is not well known on Capitol Hill that ordinary children's books are often bound with staples

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