Few people understand the role that the bureaucracy plays in keeping us safe.
“Bureaucrat” is just another name for public servant. It has been said that a thin blue line of police protects us from the worst elements of society. But it is a thin gray line of underpaid, overworked, anonymous bureaucrats who protect society against more insidious risks — risks ranging from nuclear contamination to climate change to …CONTINUE READING
I posted earlier about an FDA move to remove nicotine from cigarettes in the hope of preventing addiction. FDA is also moving forward on some food nutrition issues. That makes FDA’s Commission, Scott Gottlieb, an oasis of sanity within the Trump Administration. First, as of May, FDA will begin enforcing a regulation requiring restaurants to …CONTINUE READING
There are 65,000 dietary supplements on the market, and almost half the population uses at least one of them. Americans spent $13 billion on dietary supplements last year, according to the Washington Post. There are disturbing indications that nearly all that money is wasted — or to put it more bluntly, that the industry is essentially …CONTINUE READING
FDA has stalled for 30 years in regulating antibiotics in animal feed. A court says that’s O.K.
The FDA seems to be convinced that current use of antibiotics in animal feed is a threat to human health. But the Second Circuit ruled recently in NRDC v. FDA that EPA has no duty to consider banning their use. That may seem ridiculous, but actually it’s a very close case legally. The court’s discussion of Massachusetts …CONTINUE READING
As Tom McGarity documents in his recent book, Freedom to Harm, the American food safety system is in disarray. You’d think we’d all be wiped out by food poisoning. Yet, the rate of sickness caused by bad food seems to have remained constant since the mid-nineties. What’s going on? McGarity and others are right about the …CONTINUE READING
Food safety levels leave plenty of room at the table for salmonella
Last week on Legal Planet, Dan Farber posted about the surprising regulatory inattention paid to food safety, using as example the latest chicken salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. (see “Playing Chicken with Food Safety,” 10/20/13). This post picks up from there, to mention that while the recent incidents highlight the chicken-salmonella problem, they don’t quite …CONTINUE READING
Food safety doesn’t get the attention it deserves from regulators. Case in point: the latest Salmonella outbreak.
Food safety is something of a step-child of U.S. regulation. The public obviously cares about it, but it lacks the kind of attention from advocacy groups that the environment gets. The results have not been pretty. Food safety is divided between the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the United States Department of Agriculture (for …CONTINUE READING
Food safety, particularly for imported foods, is a serious problems. Help is on the way — but slowly, very slowly. According to the NY Times: About 15 percent of food that Americans eat comes from abroad, more than double what it was just 10 years ago, including nearly two-thirds of fresh fruits and vegetables. And …CONTINUE READING
It takes guts to oppose food safety. But that’s no problem for the House GOP. According to the NY TImes, today’s House farm bill wasn’t content to eliminate food stamps, it also took aim at food safety: One overlooked provision in the bill came from Representative Dan Benishek, Republican of Michigan, a surgeon, and would …CONTINUE READING
Largely lost in the shuffle of the current presidential election campaign and several more heavily-publicized state ballot measures, California’s Secretary of State recently announced that the “California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act” has qualified for the state’s November 2012 election ballot, where it will appear as Proposition 37. (The text of Proposition 37 …CONTINUE READING