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A Matter Of Opinion

Mon., July 9, 2007, 6:36 a.m.

Loose Thread Monday: Smart Eating, Smart Thinking

Our editorial today examines the wisdom of eating locally, especially in light of food contamination issues from China.

This spring and early summer, Americans discovered one threat after another in products coming from China. In March the U.S. Food and Drug Administration found animals were dying from contaminated wheat gluten in imported pet food. In May we learned to beware of Chinese toothpaste sold in the U.S. containing a chemical used in antifreeze. And late last month, the FDA blocked imports of catfish, shrimp and other farm-raised fish from China, too.
Fortunately, the remedies extend all the way from Beijing to Washington, D.C., to the Inland Northwest. Chinese food producers, of course, need to clean up their act. The FDA should carefully scrutinize Chinese imports and move swiftly to protect Americans. Congress should consider legislation to require origin labeling on food. And shoppers in the Inland Northwest should avoid the temptation to passively sit back and watch the action.
Instead, consumers can deepen their awareness about the safety of their food and examine where it comes from. They can join a growing trend to buy locally and organically whenever possible.

Have you changed your grocery habits in the past few years due to E-coli scares, global warming or slow-food-movement issues?

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A Matter of Opinion is really a matter of three opinions – those held by the people responsible for the opinion pages of The Spokesman-Review. Check in regularly to find out what they’re up to, what they think and where they differ and to joust with them if you want.