Is the FDA Too Slow with Recalls?

According to an investigation report on NBC4NY, the FDA still takes months for them to recall certain tainted food items. “Federal health officials failed to force a recall of peanut butter and almond products for three months after advanced DNA testing confirmed salmonella contamination, government investigators reported Thursday.
Despite new legal powers to compel recalls and sophisticated technology to fingerprint pathogens, the Food and Drug Administration allowed some food-safety investigations to drag on, placing consumers in jeopardy of death or serious illness, according to the inspector general’s office at the Department of Health and Human Services.”

An internal investigation has led to the findings that the FDA is not as quick as they should be in regards to recalling contaminated food products. Though the FDA denies these claims, the Deputy Commissioner has set up a group of food safety officials who will review cases that do not seem to be moving forward.

“Food safety has long been a weakness for the FDA, an agency thinly stretched to oversee about 80 percent of the nation’s food supply, including seafood, dairy, fruits and vegetables.
The FDA traditionally has relied on voluntary recalls to remove tainted products from the market, saying that’s the fastest route. But a 2011 law gave FDA power to order recalls in cases that have the potential for serious harm. More recently, the government rolled out whole genome sequencing — precise DNA mapping — to link bugs from people who got sick with samples from products or manufacturing facilities.”

The FDA is currently doing everything in their power to work faster in order to catch recalls as early as possible.



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