Could Food `Battle' Be Festering?

Published online: Nov 24, 2003
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Could another round of "food battles" between nations be coming?

That question has surfaced now that Hepatitis-A has been found, caused three deaths, and made over 500 people sick in Pennsylvania.

The question of "whose fresh produce is better, yours, or ours?" could warm things up a few more degrees on the world trade thermometer as producers struggle to obtain export business.

In the potato industry, U.S. fresh potato growers have had a hard time meeting Mexico's inspection requirements at the border where shipments have been delayed up to 24 hours.

The onions that brought Hepatitis-A to Pennsylvania through fast-food restaurants came from Mexico.

Other cases over the years have been made on grapes, tomatoes, and melons. Who knows what other food health issues have "been imported."

To date, U.S. fresh produce shipped elsewhere has not brought any public health problems.

With government oversight of stringent grading and health standards, the United States is thought to have some of the world's safest food.

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