Lack of inspectors could make food unsafe - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Lack of inspectors could make food unsafe

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September 29, 2004

Atlanta - Georgia Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin warns Governor Sonny Perdue the safety of our food supply could be in jeopardy. That's unless the state adds more food inspectors.

State agencies want to start hiring again. Due to budget cuts, more than 4,000 state positions have been cut since Governor Perdue took office.

Some of those were from hiring freezes after people quit and others were laid off.

Agriculture Commissioner Tommy Irvin says we are in critical need of eight to 10 inspectors to protect our food supply. The Department of Agriculture has positions authorized, but they need money.

The Georgia State Patrol is also complaining of lack of troopers, especially with Georgia's population increase. Troopers are retiring, but they haven't been allowed to have a trooper school in a few years.

The budget has approved a trooper school to start in November, more than two dozen troopers are signed up. There are approximately 820 troopers in Georgia.

The Department of Motor Vehicles says they need nearly 50 more license examiners to reduce long lines.

Governor Sonny Perdue will review budget requests in October.

posted at 5:00PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com