FDA: Shutdown Means We're Not Doing 'Important Things' Like Inspections

11 January, 2019, 22:56 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • A man shops for vegetables beside Romaine lettuce stocked and for sale at a supermarket in Los Angeles California

Just past year, the agency and the CDC helped pinpoint an outbreak of E. coli to romaine lettuce and track breakfast cereal that sickened some people with salmonella.

The Food and Drug Administration has stopped performing most domestic food inspections during the partial government shutdown, but that could soon change. He's now working on a plan to call back 150 inspectors to focus on the high-risk facilities.

The partial government shutdown has been going since December 22 with no sign of a compromise. The outbreak appears to be over, and the FDA's investigation into it is ongoing.

While the FDA's inspections are an important part of American food safety standards, there are tens of thousands of food facilities in the country, and it would be impossible for the agency to inspect all of them every year. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency can't make the case that "a routine inspection of a Nabisco cracker facility" is necessary during the shutdown, however.

Without a deal to reopen the government, the regulatory agency will have to force furloughed workers to come back without pay.


Its inspectors are among more than 800,000 federal employees affected by the shutdown - the result of an impasse between President Trump and congressional Democrats over funding for the US-Mexico border wall. "I said bye-bye, nothing else works!" "That puts our food supply at risk", Sorscher said.

"There's no question of whether it's business as usual at FDA", Gottlieb told NBC News.

Gottlieb said he's considering recalling 10 percent of the food inspection team because it's "the right thing to do for public safety".

Meat, poultry, and egg facilities not inspected by the FDA are overseen by the US Department of Agriculture, which has maintained inspections during the shutdown. "There are important things we are not doing".

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