Poisonous dining experience legal?
Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC
In our long-term care and senior care world, we get tagged if our residents' dining experience simply does not meet their expectations. But apparently, there is a federal loophole that allows poisons in our foods.
Read the Natural Resources Defense Council expose about it here.
There is something called the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) program that was instituted in the 1950s to allow things such as sugar and vegetable oil to be put into food products without having to prove they're safe. What started at about 100 items blew up to the thousands in the late 1990s due to the law.
Now, get this, it is on an honor system for the corporations that make them to determine if they are safe for human consumption. Yup, you heard me right, kids. Money-grubbing, corporate-profit-over-public-concern corporations are on an “honor” system. What new kind of oxymoron is that?
And these are not just U.S. corporations, noooooo.
Remember all that dog food manufactured in China that killed all those poor pooches in the United States? They get to make these ingredients and additives and put them in our foods. (Not fit for a dog? OK, let's put that crap in human food!)
To make matters more “appetizing,” many of these companies are not food companies at all but chemical companies. Yummy, right?
Oh, and get this. In many cases, neither the Food and Drug Administration nor consumers know these ingredients are in the food we are consuming. In some cases, ingredients the FDA has rejected as GRAS still appear in food.
So correct me if I am wrong. The FDA is the consumer protection agency of the U.S. Government. Our state surveys are under Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services of the Department of Health and Human Services of the U.S. Government. So why does the same government that fines us for allowing slow-eating residents' food to cool down before they finish consuming it, allow big corporations to keep poisoning us?
I mean maybe I shouldn't compare the survey process' keeping a watch on our elders to the Food and Drug Administration keeping a watch on all of our safety, but … maybe I should? I'm just saying.
Just keeping it real,
The Real Nurse Jackie is written by Jacqueline Vance, RNC, CDONA/LTC, a 2012 APEX Award of Excellence winner for Blog Writing. Vance is a real life long-term care nurse. A nationally respected nurse educator and past national LTC Nurse Administrator of the Year, she also is an accomplished stand-up comedienne. She has not starred in her own national television series — yet. The opinions supplied here are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of her employer or her professional affiliates.