I will be heading back to the States on Tuesday a 1:00 PM from Auckland and will arrive in Seattle on Tuesday at 11:00 AM (I was going to go straight to Washington D.C., but that has been put off for a week). Prior to my at the NZ Food Safety Authority’s national conference, I had the chance to be on TVNZ for their early show. A few pithy quotes:
“E. coli, campylobacter, salmonella can cause devastating illnesses that cost families and loved ones.”
“So whether you’re manufacturing food for your own population or for export – it’s really important that you get it right.”
“We like to do things big in the US. There are 62 million chickens just in Iowa. So if a chicken factory has a little problem it gets amplified very quickly.”
I also had time to pen my weekly Publishers Platform for Food Safety News:
“Good Day” from a day ahead of any point in the United States from the Tongariro Lodge on the North Island of New Zealand. As I write this, I am sitting under a stuffed 8½ pound Rainbow Trout caught in 1984 by then ex-president Jimmy Carter on the same river my daughter and I fished the last to days – that was after we bungy jumped off a bridge that, well, was far too high above another river.
There is nothing like seeing a fish caught by the first President that I was old enough to vote for (I was 19 in 1976), or perhaps it was jumping off a bridge, to focus your attention on how quickly the years stack up. So, how do I turn Jimmy Carter into something about food safety? Let’s see if I can do this?
I remember when I voted for Jimmy Carter I had hope that we had turned a page on Watergate, or at least the criminality and partisanship that infused politics in that era. It was that feeling of hope, and a borrowed $12, that prompted me in 1977 to run as the first undergraduate to hold office as a city councilmember in Pullman, Washington. I won by 53 votes, which held during a recount. So, how does food safety fit in?
I met Dan Flynn (now Editor-in-Chief at Food Safety News) in 1978 when Dan was assigned by the Lewiston, Idaho Tribune to cover the new, potentially radical, councilmember.
Dan and I are going on 33 total years together with almost one as him leading the team at Food Safety News. So, Food Safety News is Jimmy Carter’s fault! But for Carter giving a 19-year-old hope in politics, I never would have run. Had I never won, I never would have met Dan. Had I never won, I likely would never have become a lawyer (that is a whole other story) – and there would not be Food Safety News.
Food Safety News has now been operational for nearly one year. I am proud of the work performed by all of the writers, but especially Dan, Helena and Suzanne. I am pleased that we have recently added Mary Rothschild and several other freelancers and interns. I am encouraged by our readership.
Over the coming years Food Safety News will continue to focus on news and commentary on the safety of our food supply. I encourage all readers to hold Food Safety News accountable and to participate by submitting commentary, posting jobs and alerting us to upcoming conferences.
Well, back to fishing.