In a recent post, Cammy discussed the awful oversight of dietary drugs. This reminded me again about the peanut product recall which is still ongoing--now with 677 people sickened in 45 states (I guess if you were one of the five states not affected, hurrah to you?), 9 deaths, and more than 2,833 products pulled. To show how faulty the system is, FDA inspectors recently found dead mice and rodent droppings in the Texas plant run by Peanut Corporation of America, the source of the peanut product recall. This was the first time the inspectors had ever been there!
Then, in the past week, sprouts in Nebraska and Iowa, Safeway instant non-fat dry milk, Goya brand dried yellow potato have all been recalled. Only two were due to possible contamination, the other for possible allergic reactions of those with asthma. These are all on a small scale and seem to have been promptly found, however, it's another example of the overhaul this system needs.
According to this Scientific American article, a Senate bill was introduced recently to enhance the FDA regulatory measures for our national food supply. A few of these new implementations would be higher scrutiny of inspections, more inspections, expands access to tests/results and company records, verify/deny importers of food, and a substantial increase in funds.
Perhaps, this will help with the broken system. Personally, I think the biggest thing is funding for more workers as it does seem the FDA is stretched quite thin and cannot do an adequate job of food safety. Whatever happens with this bill or any other which may be introduced, the take home message is that something needs to be done.