Highlighting the Problems
International Specialty Supply
June 5, 2002
“Toomuch highlighting of problems can cause more questions from health authoritieswho receive copies of your Sproutnet. I just got my audit done last Fridayand the inspection people came with all kinds of stories from 1998 and 1999,which were copies from your site. Of course I cannot care what kind of info theyuse from the past, but try to keep up the spirits with good successstories.”
Ishare the same concerns as you do regarding the balance of helping and hurtingthe industry. When SproutNet first came out in 1998 it appearedthat the FDA and other health officials were on the verge of completely shuttingdown the sprouting industry, as they had with un-pasteurized milk andun-pasteurized cheese. At that time, the officials had good reason. It was becoming evident that the methods used to produce sprouts had thepotential for incubating pathogens to lethal levels. From its inception,the SproutNet has tried to:
- Encourage the FDA and other health officials that the industry is concerned about the problem, and to recognize health officials role in being part of the solution rather than dissolving the industry;
- Help stimulate government and corporate researchers to develop methods of reducing the risk of sprout related outbreaks;
- Show grocers and the produce industry that the product can be produced in a safe manner and help make them aware of the importance of selecting a well trained, responsible, sprout producer;
- Help growers become aware of the severity of the problem and stimulating them to take corrective action;
- Help educate growers on how to grow safer sprouts;
- Help educate the seed industry on how to provide safer seed to sprout growers;
- Level the playing field for sprout growers by helping educate health inspectors on what it takes to produce safe sprouts;
Inshort, the objective has been to help keep the industry around long enough forindustry members to find out what the problem is, learn how to alleviate it, andproduce safe sprouts.
By theway, in the computer age it is not necessary to send everyone the sameinformation. Our computer knows who are growers, customers, researchers,grocers, inspectors, vendors, seed suppliers, news media, etc. Grocers don’t necessarily see all the articles sprout growers do. Information that gives our customers a competitive advantage goes to ISScustomers. The one thing we share with everyone is information thatwill help safeguard the public.