In times of economic crisis, where do we draw the line on funding cuts? Food safety? Drug Safety? Highway Safety? If we can cut funding when the economy is good, what are we going to do when the economy is faltering?
The news on our latest food “crisis” is not good. It does seem, though, that it is emblematic of a number of our leftover problems of the last eight years…
The stomach-turning reports on the peanut processing facility in Blakely, Ga., have resulted in one of the largest recalls in the history of the Food and Drug Administration. A long and growing list of those products now being recalled is available at the agency’s Web site, www.fda.gov.
As 400 or more peanut products are being pulled from the nation’s grocery shelves and institutional cupboards, this scare should finally hit home — in America’s kitchens and in Washington, where Congress and the White House need to modernize and secure the nation’s food safety system.
Consumers have faced far too many food-supply emergencies in the last few years. Some of the staples of the American diet — tomatoes, peppers, spinach, shrimp, to name a few — have caused illnesses and even deaths. The F.D.A., an important agency charged with protecting the food supply, was one of many hobbled by the Bush administration’s antiregulatory efforts.
So where do we go from here? A jobs program might be a double sided weapon. Hire and train some of our unemployed to be government inspectors…Put them in the food plants, put them in the feedlots, put them in the chemical plant…From what I have been reading lately about mercury in the corn syrup, maybe they shoud be testing every batch of everything…We can probably pay for a lot of it with the bonuses all of those corporate executives keep giving each other…Talk about entitlements, what else do you call incentive pay that you receive even as you take a company down to economic ruin?