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Johanns says U.S. food supply safe

By Julie Bierach, KWMU science reporter

St. Louis, MO. – Former Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns was in St. Louis Tuesday to take part in a panel discussion on food safety.

Despite last year's recall of spinach contaminated with e-coli, the former agriculture secretary says he's confident the food supply in the United States is safe, but not perfect.

Even under the best of circumstances, you're still going to run into some issues, Johanns said. And what we can do as a government in those circumstances; get the alerts out quick, work with the people who are marketing that product, get it off the shelves.

The debate continues in Washington over whether there should be a single independent agency to oversee the integrity of the U.S. food supply instead of a joint effort between the USDA and the FDA. Johanns says he is not in favor of such an agency.

Johanns appeared on KWMU's St. Louis on the Air.