The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, April 23, 2007

A Better Tomorrow-- Through Today's GOP!

Of course, while the GOP is very busy protecting classic American values like unprecedented corporate profits and blaming your political opponents for tragic murder sprees, they still find the time to pursue what is probably the newest tradition for the Republican party. That's right, red-blooded patriots! In the grand tradition of FEMA, Walter Reed, abstinence-only education, and the Department of Justice, it's the FDA!

The Food and Drug Administration has known for years about contamination problems at a Georgia peanut butter plant and on California spinach farms that led to disease outbreaks that killed three people, sickened hundreds, and forced one of the biggest product recalls in U.S. history, documents and interviews show.

Overwhelmed by huge growth in the number of food processors and imports, however, the agency took only limited steps to address the problems and relied on producers to police themselves, according to agency documents. . . .

William Hubbard, who retired as associate commissioner of the FDA in 2005 and founded the advocacy group Coalition for a Stronger FDA, said that when he joined the agency in the 1970s, its food safety arm claimed half its budget and personnel.

"Now it's about a quarter . . . at a time in which the problems have grown, the size of the industry has grown and imports of food have skyrocketed," Hubbard said.