Wednesday, March 10, 2010

One Government Agency rips another: GAO says FDA Needs to Pay Attention

In an article sure to give you the thought, "Well duh" there is this news:

Congressional investigators say the Food and Drug Administration should pay more attention to the safety of some food ingredients, including one involved in a widespread recall this week.

A report released Friday by the Government Accountability Office points out that some spices, artificial flavors and other ingredients are not subject to frequent safety reviews by the FDA because the agency or manufacturers deem them "generally recognized as safe." A flavor-enhancing hydrolyzed vegetable protein recalled Thursday due to salmonella contamination is among those ingredients.

The investigators said the FDA has not done enough to review the substances and recommends the agency require companies making or using them to provide the government with more information.

Other substances "generally recognized as safe" include salt, trans fats found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, spices, artificial flavors, emulsifiers, binders, vitamins, minerals and preservatives intended to enhance a food's taste, texture, nutritional content or shelf life, according to the report, which notes increasing public concern about salt and trans fat.

The FDA can't keep up with approved drug products, or timely act to ask to have unsafe drugs removed from the market, yet somehow it will keep up with unsafe spices and proteins? Congress needs about 16 billion more in the FDA's budget to get it to be in the woefully underfunded stage.