Oct 17, 2011
Week after week the reports came in: cantaloupes tainted by listeria, sprouts contaminated with salmonella, strawberries with E. coli , leafy green vegetables making people sick. In fact 18 deaths, at least, were attributed just to the cantaloupes this summer.
Foods move freely throughout the U.S. but so do some deadly bacteria or viruses associated with them. This summer is hardly the first time deaths have been attributed to fresh foods. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 3,000 people die every year from food contamination and millions are sickened.
In response, what has Congress proposed? More than 200 million dollars in cuts to the Food and Drug Administration budget. That means fewer FDA inspectors to check food safety. There are hardly too many – only 1,100 for the entire country.
The politicians are quite willing to cut programs that protect the public – so that businesses won’t feel “over-regulated.” Once more, it’s all about the profits.