How Safe is Your Food?


Photo credit: Jessica Small

Jennifer Melgey, Staff Writer

The Food and Drug Administration, widely known as the FDA, hasn’t changed its food inspection over the last century.  Now, questions are arising against its operation, which leads people to wonder if the food they are eating is all that safe.

Every day, inspectors fill meat processing plants to look for abnormalities within the plant or the meat itself.  Those plants aren’t the problem regarding the FDA, though.  The majority of what the nation consumes consists of vegetables, dairy products, seafood, fruit, and everything else besides meat and poultry.  All of these plants are only overseen by the FDA about once a decade.  According to, only two percent of imported food is being thoroughly inspected.

The FDA receives insufficient funds from the government for its annual budget.  Consequently, it takes the approach of focusing on where the risk is the greatest.  This includes foods that have the worst safety record or where the outbreaks have sprouted.

Under the Food Safety Modernization Act, Congress advised the FDA to shift its focus to preventing outbreaks rather than responding to them.  Under a new law that got passed on January 4, 2011, the FDA has to increase the number of inspections it does regularly.  Since the agency struggles to pay for the inspections, it is highly possible that the administration can’t afford this new bill’s requests.

Earlier, a bill similar to the one mentioned above didn’t pass in Congress.  The FDA is already protesting against this law due to financial problems.  The future of this bill may be uncertain.

“I had no idea prior to the investigation of this of how widespread the problems were,” said Mattea Kramer, a News21 journalist.

With all the speculations going on regarding the FDA, hopefully the nation’s food is truly safe.