Failures Of FDA Putting Public And Pet Safety At Risk

A recent report, “FDA Science and Mission at Risk” focuses on the failures of the Food and Drug Administration.

The expert panel said public safety is at risk because the agency is so understaffed and underfunded. The 56-page report detailed the fact that the FDA has lost 600 inspectors in the past four years despite the amount of their responsibilities growing.

Bill Hubbard, a former FDA associate commissioner, said, “When I came to the FDA in the early 1970s, we were doing 35,000 food inspections a year. This year, the agency will be doing 6,000.”

The report further stated that the $20 billion pet food industry is regulated by only two people at the FDA. Also the agency’s computer system, which tracks hazardous foods and drugs, frequently breaks down.

Hubbard said, “Imagine having an e-mail system so old, they have to bring technicians out of retirement because current technicians have never seen equipment that old.”

The FDA staff has also been downsized by 14% over the past 14 years.

The report does not blame the FDA, but instead blames Congress for cutting their budget while they ask the FDA to take on more responsibilities.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro, said, “The essence is, send me a plan, ask for money, and we’ll consider it. But they never ask for more money or authority.”

Source: ABC News

(Thanks menusux)

20 Responses to “Failures Of FDA Putting Public And Pet Safety At Risk”

  1. Sharon says:

    They never ask for money because they already have $20 billion from the pet food industry. It’s apparent who they work for and it’s not us.

  2. Sharon says:

    Rep. Rosa DeLauro, said, “The essence is, send me a plan, ask for money, and we’ll consider it. But they never ask for more money or authority.”

    Wasn’t that one of the excuses for the response to Katrina? - they never asked for help. Hey lady, news flash, when it comes to doing the right thing, you shouldn’t have to beg to get someone to do their job. We are paying your salary and expect you to have a brain and a conscience and to be able to use both of them.

  3. Louie W. says:

    I’m confused.

    In Representative Stupak’s meeting (House Committee on Energy and Commerce) on drug safety, didn’t the FDA state that their policies and procedures are the GOLD STANDARD?

    Apparently, Representative Stupak is not convinced:

    http://energycommerce.house.go.....safety.pdf

    Also of interest:
    http://www.whistleblower.org/t.....age_id=126
    http://www.whistleblower.org/t.....age_id=124

  4. Pukanuba says:

    “It’s apparent who they work for and it’s not us.” Sharon, you hit the nail on the head. They are in bed with the pf companies & I’m sure are well taken care of there…..imo, of course. Also, if I remember correctly, with the last windfall they got, rather than putting it to good use, seems to me they all got a hefty raise. Our tax dollars at work.

    I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again……when men, women & children start dropping from a contamination very similar to the pet food tragedy, they will have no choice but to do their jobs……other than that, don’t expect much from them or any other gov’t agency. They have all become nothing more than a money-sucking joke……all of us in the (used to be) middle class can barely afford to live from paycheck to paycheck while these people make a disgusting wage for doing nothing…….how do I get one of these jobs? Oh, & if you get fired, you get a skillion dollars before they boot your a$$ out the door. You & I get booted out & that’s it.

    Pretty soon it’s going to be the rich & the poor, period. No middle class.

  5. Sandi K says:

    I watched Senate hearings on food safety and health last night on C-Span where they talked about this. Sen Kennedy and several others spoke of the pet food recall. While H&HS Secretary’s Leavitt did concur that more needs to be done, he fell short of saying there is an immediate serious problem and he seemed to get rather testy with Sen Kennedy when Kennedy implied that not enough was being done immediately. One thing that Leavitt stated was that he wasnt aware until a few days ago that FDA doesnt have recall authority. Wouldnt you think that would have been one of his first duties when he was appointed secretary of H&SS, would be to learn what FDA’s powers are and arent? For cripe sake, pet parents knew this back in March. They also had a group representing consumers who spoke of the pet food poisoning and melamine and warned it will be humans next that this happens to. In spite of all the info, there were 2, Sen Wayne Allard from Colorado and Sen Richard Burr from N Carolina who think our food safety is the best in the world and the only thing lacking is education of the public. Obviously they havent had pets affected by this. It was very revealing. So all of us pet parents, if we had been educated, we could have avoided our pet becoming ill or dying, at least according to Sen Allard and Burr. Me thinks they just dont get it. Me thinks the people lacking “education” include those two on my very long list.

  6. CGP says:

    The attitude of those 2 jokers (Allard and Burr) is one of the reasons why our food supply is so questionable. Our government has ceased to even try to protect us - after all, who are we, just the voting public! We don’t have highly paid lobbyists representing our interests. One of the big reasons for lack of oversight is that we have questionable people as the heads of these departments. They don’t know what they’re doing most of the time. Congress is nothing to brag about either.

  7. Carol says:

    “In spite of all the info, there were 2, Sen Wayne Allard from Colorado and Sen Richard Burr from N Carolina who think our food safety is the best in the world and the only thing lacking is education of the public”

    Ummmmmm…….helloooooo…..Wayne, Richard—it is because some of us are now educating ourselves that we now have problems with your lack of knowledge about our food safety–human and pet foods!

  8. Anonymous says:

    http://www.commondreams.org/ar.....2/04/5602/
    NOTE THE PANEL MEMBERS/ALLEGIANCES
    “The panel, chaired by Gail Cassell, vice president for scientific affairs at Eli Lilly & Co., and representatives from Genentech Inc and Wyeth, among others presented their findings to FDA Commissioner Andrew Von Eschenbach and other agency officials.

    Eschenbach asked the Science Board to examine the problems that have plagued the agency in recent years including recalls of drugs, contaminated food and toxic toothpaste. The agency regulates products from drugs to food and cosmetics representing about $1 trillion, or a quarter of every dollar spent in the United States, according to the report.

    The U.S. Congress passed more than 100 laws expanding the FDA’s authority since 1988, but has not increased the funding appropriately, the report found.”

    FOX IN THE HENHOUSE, WOULDN’T YOU SAY??

  9. Anonymous says:

    AND WHY WOULD (LET’S SAY) A DRUG COMPANY LIKE WYETH, WANT TO BE ON THE FDA PANEL???
    http://www.commondreams.org/ar.....2/05/5622/
    There’s the 200 US medical education and communication companies (MECCs) who ghostwrite journal articles for Big Pharma–”just sign here, Doc; we’ve reviewed the data”–for $20,000 to $40,000 per article.

    Like Complete Healthcare Communications (CHC) whose phalanx of 40 medical writers, editors and librarians has submitted over 500 manuscripts to journals for clients Pfizer, Sanofi-Aventis, Wyeth, Schering-Plough and AstraZeneca according to its promotional materials, with an acceptance rate of 80 percent.

    And the MECC which wrote up the Merck-designed and paid for Vioxx trials less the death data which ran in Annals of Internal Medicine first author of the Advantage study Jeffrey Lisse recounts to the New York Times.

    And of course there are the medical journals themselves which can make $450,000 off one article reprint as Big Pharma disseminates its messages under their masthead (”look, Doc–it says RIGHT HERE”) and untold ad page revenues.

  10. catmom5 says:

    Besides, we wouldn’t want to upset China or big business, would we? (snark, snark)

  11. purringfur says:

    Hubbard said, “Imagine having an e-mail system so old, they have to bring technicians out of retirement because current technicians have never seen equipment that old.”
    …………………

    Are we talking about the USA?

  12. Katie says:

    Maybe the money FDA rec’d shouldn’t have gone for bonuses for the top bosses. And, why would you keep throwing money at a group who fails to spend $20 billion dollars wisely? When will Congress realize money doesn’t always fix a problem. It’s time for someone to fire the top guys and bring in someone who can clean-up the department.

    As pet parents we have watched the proceedings, researched the internet and educated ourselves, we can easily see the faults of the FDA, why can’t Congress?

    Perhaps it’s because the lobbyists and big business are in charge and until that changes we are all at risk.

    Katie

  13. Don Earl says:

    RE: “The essence is, send me a plan, ask for money, and we’ll consider it. But they never ask for more money or authority.”

    What a ridiculous farce! As close as I can tell, the FDA’s budget increases by over 10% every year as far back as data is available. It is currently over two billion dollars. So, why is it that with inflation generally around 4-5%, with a 10+% yearly budget increase, the FDA operates at 15% of its capacity of 30 years ago?

    And, what’s with this lame garbage about old computers? You can go to Walmart, and pay full retail for slightly seasoned technology for about $500 a pop. How much money is $2 billion? It’s enough to buy 4 million $500 computers! Fourty thousand new computers would amount to 1% of the FDA’s annual budget.

    I can’t think of anything more disgusting than corporate media hype that the only way to fix something that’s broken is to throw more money at it. The tried and true method is to fire management that isn’t getting the job done.

    How about a grand jury investigation into the FDA instead?

  14. Dennis says:

    Umm… FDA…underfunded… Isn’t this the same group that Congress grilled over their misspending of $20 million on top salaries instead of the food safety that the Congress earmarked those funds for??

    I wanted Congress to completely merge the health agencies and stir the pot on the assignments so that the good ole boy network is disrupted between the agency people and the industries.

  15. Anonymous says:

    2 People huh?

    By the names of Dumb and Dumber.

  16. Lynn says:

    FDA policies are the “gold standard.” Sure, and I’m a Martian.

    I’m still wondering what happened to the “government for the people, by the people, of the people” concept.

    Time to clean house, wouldn’t you say?

  17. Don Earl says:

    RE: “I’m still wondering what happened to the “government for the people, by the people, of the people” concept.”

    Ummm… I hate to burst your bubble, but the guy who suggested the concept was shot dead quite some time ago - under, shall we say, “unusual” circumstances.

  18. Dennis says:

    Hey, I have a brilliant concept…

    Get the government oversight agencies to actually do their jobs…

    That would mean the GSA and GAO…
    And it would mean the Inspector General’s office over the agency in question.

    Time for audits… maybe time for filed complaints to trigger those audits.

  19. kathy says:

    Anonymous, I live in Colorado and IMHO, Wayne Allard is dumb, can’t think of a single thing he’s done right! I will never understand how the majority of us can believe all the hype on the tv and elect the scummiest ones running.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Speaking of-

    http://www.hfl.co.uk/Pharma/pharma.html


Close
E-mail It