It’s no secret that neither Democrats nor Republicans are particularly pleased with the agreement reached last week to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and avert default and all the apocalyptic ills that would bring. But you want to know who else is probably getting bent out shape about it? Michael Pollan and just about any other American fearful of the growing number of cases of E. coli, salmonella, and other food-borne illnesses in this country. Food Safety News reports that the deal, which will slash as much as $917 billion in discretionary spending to public health agencies, poses a major threat to future funding of food-safety efforts.
Those spending cuts come just as the FDA is trying to implement the food-safety overhaul that was signed into law as the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act back in January. David Acheson, who served as associate commissioner of foods at FDA during the Bush years, is quoted in the report, stating that the FDA will likely push forward with its modernization efforts, but will ultimately come up short when it comes to inspections and enforcement. And without inspections and enforcements, there really is no way to guarantee that food picked, processed, and packaged here in the U.S. is truly safe.