Have you ever watched the documentary Food Inc? Well, I have—twice—and it’s disturbing to see the lack of value the federal government appears to have in policing the quality of the food that comes across our kitchen tables every night.
So, when it came to my attention that some of the geniuses responsible for passing laws in this country were putting the wheels in motion to not only renege on the promise of more money for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) but to cut them back another $87 million, I was a bit perplexed—quite frankly outraged—by the sheer irresponsibility of it all.
Budget cuts proposed by House Republicans to the Food and Drug Administration would undermine the agency’s ability to carry out a historic food-safety law passed by Congress just five months ago, food-safety supporters say.
The legislation, passed in December, is the first major change to the nation’s food-safety laws since 1938. It calls for the FDA to significantly step up scrutiny of domestic and imported food and devise a new system to prevent the kind of contamination that sickens 1 in 6 Americans every year.
The law, which received bipartisan support, followed years of cutbacks at the FDA and waves of national food-borne illnesses linked to foods as varied as spinach, peanuts and cookie dough.
To carry out the new law, President Obama is seeking $955 million for food safety at the FDA in the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1.
Last week, the House Appropriations subcommittee that oversees the FDA pared back that amount to $750 million, which is $87 million less than the figure the agency is currently receiving for food safety.
…the agency will not be able to meet many requirements of the new law, including increased inspections of food manufacturing plants, better coordination with state health departments and development of the capability to more respond quickly to food-borne illnesses to reduce their impact.
Richard D. Saunders, deputy director of Virginia’s Division of Animal and Food Industry Services, questions the wisdom of passing the law ” if you’re going to turn around and cut FDA’s funding … FDA has never had enough funding to begin with.”
I don’t give a flip what party you belong to, you have to wonder about the genius behind any think-tank that feels we, as American citizens, can get by with less where food safety is concerned. It’s just idiotic as all heck to believe we are okay with the status quo when there are increasingly more outbreaks of E. Coli, salmonella, and various other food borne illnesses around the globe.
If anything, they should be giving more to the cause, not less.
Perhaps the House subcommittee needs an outbreak to come there way at one of their lunch sessions so that they can grasp the urgency of this matter because it seems to me that they aren’t taking any of this seriously enough.
Ay yi yi. Here’s an idea for those morons we’ve entrusted to help “run this country”, how about you actually start making laws that protect us, eh? I mean, I know that the money from all those big corporations help fund your yearly vacations, but I would like to be able to go into a supermarket, pick up some romaine lettuce or peanut butter and know that I won’t die.
Just a thought.