FDA Appointment.

March 12, 2009 at 9:32 am | Posted in Department of Health & Human Services | Leave a comment
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Ohio : WPA Art Program, between 1936 and 1940

Ohio : WPA Art Program, between 1936 and 1940

Word is that Margaret A. Hamburg, a former New York City health commissioner, will be President Obama’s nominee to head the Food & Drug Administration. The FDA is part of the Department of Health & Human Services.

The FDA is a mess, by anyone’s standards. The FDA regulates $417 billion worth of domestic food and $49 billion worth of imported food each year (meat, poultry and some egg products are regulated by the Department of Agriculture).

I’ve had a look at the FDA’s current “food protection plan.” I can’t say I am impressed. One of the FDA’s legislative goals is to be able to outsource its already inadequate food inspections to “highly-qualified third parties.” Why have an FDA at all if oversight and enforcement are outsourced to people who have zero accountability?

It seems to me there has been entirely too much reliance on food providers and suppliers to police themselves. It would be nice to be able to buy a jar of peanut butter without wondering what else is in it besides peanuts. I prefer mine not to contain bug and rat bits, even if it is Salmonella Typhimurium free.


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