Washington D.C. consumer protection: FDA fails to check food makers for years
Legal news for consumer protection attorneys. The FDA leaves many food manufacturing plants unchecked for years.
Consumer protection attorneys- The FDA has failed to conduct inspections at many food-manufacturing plants, raising the risk of food borne illness occurrences.
Washington, D.C.—Over the last four years, the U.S. food supply has been inundated with outbreaks of food-borne illnesses in an abundance of foods, which may be attributed to the dwindling Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) review of food manufacturing plants. Government investigators stated that many facilities have gone over five years without being checked by federal inspectors, as reported by MSNBC.
With the drop of inspections of our nations food supplying plants, the likelihood of an outbreak of food borne diseases are rising, thus putting the pubic at risk. A report by the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general is making people think twice about the safety of our food. Since 2006, high-profiled outbreaks involving foods like lettuce, peppers, peanuts and spinach has plagued the news. The diseases have caused the U.S. to spend $152 billion in health-related expenses every year.
The report found that food safety violations were not always properly addressed by the FDA. “FDA can assign a facility with the most serious food safety or regulatory infractions an official action indicated (OAI) classification, which warrants agency action to ensure the violation is fixed. But FDA took no regulatory action against 25 percent of facilities it assigned an OAI classification in fiscal 2007. Additionally, 36 percent of facilities with an OAI classification did not receive any follow up from FDA to ensure the violations were corrected.” according to the report.
The report indicates that a dwindling FDA workforce and resources are responsible to the lax inspections. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) http://www.cdc.gov/ estimates that 76 million people across the U.S. get sick every year with food borne illnesses, which 5,000 resulting in deaths.
Legal News Reporter: Nicole Howley-Legal news for lawyers handling consumer protection cases.