Photo: eyeflyer via flickr
There’s a concerning tidbit buried deep down in the House of Representatives’ $125.5 billion agriculture plan for 2012 that was passed last month.Congress wants to kill all funding for the US Department of Agriculture’s $4.5 million Microbiological Data Program (MDP), which checks certain commodities — including vegetables — for food-borne pathogens, Wired Science reports.
There have been 19 food recalls in the last two years due to MDP testing according to the Food and Drug Administration, but the program has also come under fire from the agriculture industry, who claim that many of the recalls were unnecessary.
While meat and dairy are tested heavily by the FDA, vegetables and other produce aren’t, which is why the MDP was created in the first place back in 2001. The MDP tests 15 times the amount of produce samples that the FDA does, according to Wired.
One glaring concern is that the FDA only tests for one particular pathogenic strain of e.Coli — and it’s not the deadly strain that has killed 50 people so far in Europe. The MDP tests for that new strain and many more.
Next up for the MDP is a yet-to-be-dated Senate vote on the federal agriculture bill.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.