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Ag Official on Animal Feed, Pet Food Scares

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Government scientists today said a chemical that tainted animal feed is unlikely to harm people who eat those animals. The episode has food industry critics calling for consolidation of various food safety agencies. Chicago Public Radio’s Shawn Allee reports a top agriculture official disagrees.

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The slaughter of millions of chickens and hogs can now move forward, but debate over animal feed contamination continues.

Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns was in Chicago today.

Johanns defends current inspections.

He says it’s good science - multiple agencies question one another’s conclusions.

Johanns: What I’m picking up is a healthy, challenging debate about risk assessment and how best to manage this, and I just have to tell you I think that’s oftentimes very, very positive.

Johann’s view contradicts conclusions drawn by the Government Accountability Office.

The G-A-O recently suggested a food safety overhaul.

It called patchwork regulations a “high-risk” to food security.

I’m Shawn Allee.

Chicago Public Radio.

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