Friday, June 10, 2016

Our government NOT at work

Be very careful
What you eat;
FDA slow to act

TWO ARTICLES HIGHLIGHTED by Advisen FPN caught my attention, both concerned food and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

One, in the Chicago Tribune for June 10, was headlined Investigators: Consumers are 'at risk of illness or death' because of slow FDA recalls.

The other, from the Wall Street Journal, is dated June 9 and headlined Reports Show Inspectors Found Recurring Problems at CRF Factory.

The ChiTrib article focuses on the apparent disregard for consumers by the Federal agency.

The FDA seems to be following the in the footsteps of the Veterans' Administration for ignoring the mandates that are their raison d'etre.

"Caveat emptor" has become the motto of the Federal government over the last few years.

The ChiTrib article noted that the Food and Drug Administration waited 165 days after confirming the contamination before recalling tainted peanut butter that caused salmonella poisoning in 14 people. It waited 81 days to recall a variety of cheese products even after a baby died and eight people became ill.

An FDA report noted that This lax approach to food safety put consumers "at risk of illness or death" after testing showed the food was potentially hazardous. The report blamed loose or nonexistent policies for how and when the FDA does recalls when commercial food has made people sick. And it noted that despite new powers the agency got in 2011 to force companies to recall dangerous products -- rather than ask them to act voluntarily --and new technology that allows scientists to identify pathogens faster, the government is still endangering the public by dragging out its investigations.

The article went on to detail other FDA problems and that the agency has started a more rigorous review process for food recalls.

The WSJ article starts off with In the year and a half before CRF Frozen Foods LLC launched a sweeping recall of its products from grocery stores, government inspectors found recurring problems at the frozen-food maker’s factory, according to reports released this week by regulators.

Three inspection reports, released by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, indicate problems at CRF’s Pasco, Wash., plant were more widespread than previously known.

The WSJ's interest in CRF and its health inspection apparently was promoted in the wake of a listeria outbreak linked to CRF that sickened eight people since September 2013 and prompted recalls this spring of hundreds of frozen fruit and vegetable products.

The bottom line for consumers is that the Federal agency charged with assuring the food we eat is, if not healthy, at least not dangerous is failing to do its job,

As far as the VA goes, refer to the U.S. House of Representatives' VA Accountability Watch and a Washington Times article titled VA still plagued by problems two years after scandal. According to one combat wounded veteran, the local VA facility is a "last resort"; he refuses to travel the few miles to a VA facility because, he claims, a person has to become violent before anyone pays attention to the vet.

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