After nearly four years of intensive blogging, there are many things I still don’t understand. Perhaps you, my readers, can help me find answers to some of these questions.

Why does USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) consider E. coli O157:H7 and six other E. coli serotypes to be adulterants in raw beef, while turning a blind eye to other pathogens such as Salmonella, Campylobacter, Yersinia enterocolitica, and even other pathogenic or toxic E. coli?

Why is FDA unable (or unwilling) to release retail distribution information on food safety recalls – even those definitively linked to deadly outbreaks – while FSIS routinely releases retail distribution information on all such recalls?

Why does FDA not allow interstate shipment of raw milk for human consumption, as long as the raw milk meets the same microbiological standards as pasteurized milk?

Why does the burden of demonstrating the safety (or hazard) of imported food products and ingredients rest on FDA’s shoulders – and bank account – rather than on the shoulders of the offshore producers and the importers?

Why are there no federal criminal penalties imposed on food producers and processors who knowingly supply contaminated food?

Why does FDA make it so difficult for consumers to notify the agency about food, drug, medical device and pet food safety problems?

Why is it impossible to request information from FDA under the Freedom of Information Act on-line?

Why does the USA need two major federal food safety agencies with overlapping responsibilities?

Why, with so much money, time and effort spent on food safety enforcement in the developed world, do countries such as the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom and France continue to experience high annual rates of food poisoning and foodborne diseases?

Finally, why must consumers continue to rely on non-government sites such as eFoodAlert, barfblog, Food Safety News, and Le blog d’Albert Amgar (in France) for timely information of foodborne disease outbreaks, food recalls and other food safety issues?