Monday, April 23, 2007

Strangers, pull your shit together

This is one of those disconcerting stories because it underscores how dependent we are on those we don't know not to fuck up.

From today's Washington Post:

FDA Was Aware of Dangers to Food

Outbreaks Were Not Preventable, Officials Say

By Elizabeth Williamson

Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 23, 2007; Page A01

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.

Congressional critics and consumer advocates said both episodes show that the agency is incapable of adequately protecting the safety of the food supply.

FDA officials conceded that the agency's system needs to be overhauled to meet today's demands, but contended that the agency could not have done anything to prevent either contamination episode.


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