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Were Statistics on Food-borne Illnesses Manipulated for Political Reasons?

That seems to be the implication of a couple blog posts by Richard Raymond in his meatingplace.com blog.  Raymond isn't just some lackey - he is the former USDA undersecretary of agriculture for food safety. 

In his first post, Raymond pointed out that:

. . . it seems the CDC is reluctant to come right out and say that [our food is safer today than fiver years ago]. In fact, they have qualifiers advising people not to make that assumption.

Could the reason be that there needed to be data to support the new FSMA?  

Before the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) was passed, the CDC, politicians and food safety advocates all quoted the CDC report that claimed 72 million Americans fell sick to a foodborne illness every year.
Within a week after the FSMA was signed into law, CDC had adjusted that number to 48 million, but said to draw no conclusions as to an increasingly safe food supply because they used different “multipliers”, etc.
Now it is down to 9.4 million foodborne illnesses caused by “known pathogens.”

In his second post, Raymond went further:

Is data manipulated? Remember all those Iraqi weapons of mass destruction we saw pictures of and form you own conclusion.
Is data manipulated? How did we suddenly go from an estimated 72 million Americans suffering a foodborne illness per year to just 48 million within one week of signing the Food Safety Modernization Act into law.

and

Are there hidden agendas in DC? Most are pretty open if you read between the lines, and the agendas have been heavily discussed and debated during election campaigns, etc.
I personally think the bigger hidden agendas sometimes involve persons and/or groups wanting to reduce or do away with the consumption of meat under the disguise of promoting animal welfare and food safety.  . . .
Can we trust the government to always report the truth? Sometimes I wonder.