October 1, 2006
Food, Drugs and a Beleaguered Agency
Article in today's Los Angeles Times -- Food, Drugs and a Beleaguered Agency, by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar:
The Food and Drug Administration has been in the spotlight lately because of
problems in two of its most important areas of responsibility: making sure that
the nation's food supply is uncontaminated and that its prescription drugs are safe.
The recent outbreak of E. coli infections linked to California-grown spinach has
exposed weaknesses in federal food safety regulation.
Separately, a blue-ribbon panel of the Institute of Medicine has found serious gaps
in the way the FDA monitors prescription drugs to catch rare but potentially deadly
side effects that come to light only after medications are on the market. The institute
is part of the National Academies, which advise the government on scientific and
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