Thursday, April 26, 2007

Frightening Food Facts about the FDA from the GAO

From Tuesday's House hearings about the FDA:

Did you know:
The federal government can issue mandatory recalls for tires and toys but not food?
The only exception is baby formula. Did you know that? Does that surprise you?

How the heck did this happen? Who decided that killing your customers is just the cost of doing business? Is letting citizen's pets die a good way to get votes? I thought that even illogical humans would figure out that old Vulcan saying,
"Killing your customers is bad PR."
For those who didn't get to watch the hearing they feature my new hero
Lisa Shames, Acting Director Natural Resources and Environment, Government Accountability Office.

How cool is she? First she has a great name like "shamus - as in detective or it could be "She shames the people who rip us off. " And she works for our beloved GAO! I think Scout Prime and I will have to give them The Greatest Government Agency in America Award.
Seriously doesn't everyone want MORE accountability in government?

For this video I some titles and pulled out some key quotes for emphasis. I'm still new at this video stuff so your advice is welcome and yes, I'm sure you could have done it better Rich.

The video is in Real Media format. I'll try and get it in WMA soon.

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Jim said...

I'm shocked that the goverment can dictatoraly demand that a private company can stop selling any lawful item without some sort of judicial review. What the FDA should be able to do, and we should be demanding, is that the country of origin be labeled on the pet foods.

Currently supermarket foods are labeled because the US goverment cannot control the amount of and or type of pesticides or other chemicals used for fruit and vegetable production in other countries. If you want to buy those chilean grapes - go ahead, you should do the research to see if chile still uses heptachlor, or DDT. (note that the FDA has allowable amounts of known carcinogens- and even then rarely enforces the nonallowable ones)

With pet foods, you don't get the option to buy american only - which would have prevented the problem, or at least mitigated it to foreign sources only.

12:54 PM  
dad said...

i thought the vulcan saying was, "killing one's customers is highly illogical", whereas the ferengi saying was "killing one's customers can sometimes reduce profits - do not do this unless you can also take back what you sold to them and keep the money". and the klingon saying, which i think is the operative one here, is "killing one's customers is fun!"

2:20 PM  
Metro said...

At some point an issue becomes too big for the individual consumer or worker to handle.

I just spent an enormous amount of time posting on how free-market conservatism has truly started to kick the guts out of workers, and how government, run by the free-market conservatives whose biggest worry is whether they'll drink the Mumm's Extra Dry while swiving the housemaid or the parlourmaid, aren't stepping up for some reason.

So Jim, at some point yes,a country's government must indeed, briefly interrupt the flow of the revenue stream into the pockets of a company when a company is producing products that hurt people.

If the menu foods protein problem had made it into human food--where, oddly enough the ingredient "melatonin" would not appear on the label because it was a contaminent, the very best-informed customer would have been as dead as anyone who just bought it on sale.

How many of those deaths would have mandated stopping the flow of money?

As for "the option to buy American only" ...

A flag on the label never stopped botulism. D'you think the mold in the peanut butter was shipped in by terrorists or something?

4:34 PM  

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