HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Friday, February 6, 2009

FDA Review by Obama

Yahoo News reports on President Obama's recent discussion about the FDA and a need to improve food safety.  The article provides,

President Barack Obama, speaking as the nation's chief executive and a father, promised a comprehensive review of the Food and Drug Administration amid a salmonella outbreak linked to a Georgia peanut processor. 

More than 500 people have been sickened and at least eight may have died. Authorities fault Peanut Corp. of America. Officials said the company shipped products that initially tested positive for salmonella after retesting and getting a negative result.  The outbreak has led to a massive recall of products ranging from ice cream to cookies and prompted consumer groups to urge Congress to require annual inspections of food processing plants.

"I think that the FDA has not been able to catch some of these things as quickly as I expect them to catch," Obama said in an interview aired Monday on NBC's "Today" show. "And so we're going to be doing a complete review of FDA operations." . . .

The FDA has asked the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation into Virginia-based Peanut Corp. of America. Documents showed that until shortly before the salmonella outbreak, federal food safety inspectors had not been to the plant since 2001. . . . Federal officials say the Peanut Corp. plant in Georgia had a salmonella problem dating back at least to June 2007 but had not disclosed it to the FDA.  The salmonella outbreak has prompted voluntary recalls by makers of more than 800 products. The recall reaches into Canada and Europe.  National brands of jarred peanut butter sold directly to consumers, as well as the perennial must-have Girl Scout Cookies, have been unaffected by the recalls. . . .

The government has warned consumers to check foods containing peanuts and peanut products against a list of recalled products, available at

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