FDA reduces inspections, putting food supply at risk, as shutdown continues

14 January, 2019, 20:16 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • The FDA may be slowing down on food inspections due to the government shutdown

Not only are government employees with mortgages and bills not being paid under the ongoing almost three-week-long government shutdown, but now there is a potential public health threat: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has drastically cut back on routine inspections of high-risk foods at manufacturing and processing plants across the country, leaving seafood, fruits, vegetables, and many other foods at high risk of contamination unchecked by federal officials.

"We're taking steps to expand the scope of food safety surveillance inspections we're doing during the shutdown to make sure we continue inspecting high risk food facilities", FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Wednesday in a thread on Twitter.

Those high-risk areas include plants that produce both fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and seafood, Gottlieb said - about a third of the facilities that the FDA regularly inspects.

Domestic meat and poultry are still being inspected by staff at the Agriculture Department, but they are going without pay.

The FDA conducts about 8,400 domestic inspections a year, or an average of 160 a week, Gottlieb said. She says the FDA does a lot less than you think it does.

And he said that the business which is now going to be resumed isn't as usual because they are not going to work for the things as they used to do in normal situations and the thing most important is that they even aren't doing anything.

Hundreds of FDA inspectors have been furloughed due to the shutdown.

There were more than 88,000 registered food facilities in the United States in 2016, according to FDA data. About 31 percent of those would be considered high-risk, he said. But that could change should the shutdown continue to drag on. "There were two in a row with lettuce that had been major outbreak's", said Dr. Jill Roberts, and Assistant professor at USF College of Public Health. So, as Vox's Julia Belluz puts it, the number of interrupted inspections thus represent "less than half a percent of the total inspections happening annually".

But Craig Hedberg, PhD, an epidemiologist at the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health, says the shutdown "shouldn't pose an imminent food-safety threat" - as long as the impasse over President Donald Trump's demand for $5.7 billion for a wall along the Mexican border gets resolved quickly.

"If they stop showing up, we'd see some serious impact on the country's meat supply".



CEO of California utility PG&E resigns as firm faces liability over wildfires
PG&E said they do not expect the move to effect electric or natural gas service for its customers as a result of the proceedings. State fire investigators blamed the utility's power lines for causing a number of California wildfires past year and in 2017.

White House asked for Iran attack options
The Times tried to create distance between Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo , writing, "But Mr. There's no doubt that we could do plenty of damage to Iran if we chose to strike.

‘Game of Thrones’ sets official date for beginning of the end
This line is from the season 6 finale, when Lyanna made her brother Ned vow to take care of her and Rhaegar Targaryen's son - Jon. Jon passes by the funeral statue of his mother, Lyanna Stark, while Sansa and Arya walk pass through Catelyn and Ned Stark.

Stabbed Polish mayor dies in hospital
He has been seen as a progressive voice in the country, supporting LGBT rights and tolerance for minority groups. Kaczynski, at the time an opposition leader, blamed the attack on an "atmosphere of hate" under Civic Platform.

Inside the hell house of Jayme Closs's alleged kidnapper
Jake Patterson had, as it turns out, worked at the same turkey processing plant, but only for a single day three years ago. Her hair "was like a big dreadlock - like she'd been laying down", Kristin told The Post at her Wisconsin home.

Pioneering DNA scientist loses titles after claims over race
The lab said it was reacting to Mr Watson's remarks in a television documentary aired earlier this month. James Watson co-discovered the DNA molecule structure.

Federer opens Australian title defence as Murray hobbles into action
He said he would like to finish his career at Wimbledon, but admitted the Australian Open could be his last tournament. The 17-time major victor hasn't played since retiring from his semifinal at the U.S.

'Kingdom Hearts 3' Post-Launch Updates Revealed
There are a few little perks available to you when you preorder the merchandise of Kingdom Hearts 3 Standard edition. And, with the game being the culmination of that, a lot of story revelations are likely to be present in the game.

Unai Emery On Benching Mesut Ozil: Others Deserved To Play
The Gunners would come unstuck at the London Stadium, with Declan Rice's goal early on in the second half proving the difference between the two sides.

Benjamin Netanyahu admits Israel to blame for Damascus strikes
But with that war winding down, Israeli security officials fear Hezbollah is refocusing its attention on Israel. The powerful Shiite Hezbollah group, which acts independently in Lebanon, has yet to comment on the tunnels.