As the government continues in its efforts at cutting cost, it might seem appropriate to stop financing the Microbiological Data Program (MDP), responsible for testing fresh produce for pathogens. With trade associations like the United Food Produce Association calling on the USDA to stop the MDP, pointing to the millions of dollars spent in produce recalls. The MDP which runs on a tight budget of 5 million dollars have been very efficient in preventing disease outbreaks by focusing on 'high-risk' produce implicated in major outbreaks cannot be merged with the FDA or CDC as these agencies have different and vital functions. Industry groups have also pointed to efforts at self-policing in improving growing conditions and safety procedures but till it comes to that time when the MDP isn't finding any pathogens, the plug should not be pulled just yet.
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