Friday, June 15, 2007

Just off the top of my head....

Tainted spinach.

Tainted peanut butter.

Tainted dog food.

Tainted toothpaste.

So, they think this is a good idea?

Detroit's FDA lab targeted for closure
Lawmakers debate reorganization plan
June 15, 2007


WASHINGTON -- A proposal to close Food and Drug Administration labs in Detroit and six other cities has touched off a battle on Capitol Hill, with critics saying the cuts come at a time when the agency should be doing more to guarantee the safety of food coming into the United States.

The FDA, which has oversight responsibility for four-fifths of the food imported into the country, says closing the labs will increase efficiencies, save money on rent, equipment and overhead costs and free funding for testing at larger, regional labs scattered across the nation.


"It's just not a priority with the FDA," Stupak said Wednesday of imported food inspections. "They're trying to reduce the size of government."

In a letter last month to Appropriations Chairman Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., Dingell and Stupak said there is evidence the FDA plan would drastically undercut the agency's ability to inspect food at a time when reports of outbreaks have been in the news, including salmonella contamination in peanut butter and tainted pet food linked to ingredients from China.


At 9:01 AM, Blogger Paddy said...

Drown it in a bathtub.

At 12:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Upper management of the FDA is ignoring the fact that we have huge food safety issues in this country. A similar plan was put forth in 1994. A GAO audit proved that FDA would not save on costs, would not run more samples, and not help the overall efficieny of the agency. As a matter of fact, the report showed that smaller FDA labs (the ones targeted for closure) were more efficient and had more detained samples than the larger labs.

The argument is so absurd. The agency cannot even handle its mission now, but somehow magically when the agency is reduced it will be able to handle the food supply better? What a complete joke. The agency is inspecting > 1% of all imported foods into this country. This is a blatant attempt to deregulate industry and let the people of the US face the consequences.

The person in charge of this plan was once in charge of running FSIS (Food Safety Inspection Service). A similar plan was put in effect a few years ago. Here is the evidence of how well the plan has worked for FSIS: so far this year FSIS has recalled 1 million pounds of beef for e. coli by letting industry police themselves.

Similar things are happening now and will in the future of the FDA. Be it ignoring the effects of Ketek, contracting PR agencies to figure out how to get this plan through as fast as possible with no input from anyone, to melamine in pet food, diabetics drugs, peanut butter. All these industries have been left alone for 6 1/2 years now and allowed to police themselves. FDA is a regulatory agency. They enforce laws. It shouldnt be telling industry "police yourselves and we'll only show up if something happens". The FDA is really good at being reactive. How about being proactive for once. The agency is performing inspections based on a "risk assessment" of each particular industry. Well, I would have thought with all the data they have generated concerning pet food risk, e.coli in lettuce etc, they would have know that inspections should have been being carried out in these industries. But, pet food plants haven't been inspected in 5 yrs and the produce industry was given recommendations on keeping their product safe, but they really didn't need to follow them if they didn't want to.

The FDA needs a huge in fusion of funds to increase inspection, analysis of samples, upgrade labs not close them. BTW inspecting plants and analyzing their products are two totally different things. You can do all the inspections you want but if you don't collect samples and analyze them for pathogens you'll never know anything is wrong.


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