Insight Into the FDA Shutdown

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An added side effect to the longest government shutdown in American history is the FDA has officially stopped food inspection. For over twenty days now, food has been processed and shipped with no proper inspections, and for the moment, their overseers are going unpaid.

Proceeding the E. Coli scare, Americans are on edge about this epidemic and are taking to social media to spread awareness and food safety precautions. Many civilians are coming forward with mishandled goods purchased in store. Such items include curdled milk, bubbled meat packaging (due to bacteria releasing gases), and aforementioned the lingering fear of E. Coli in romaine lettuce. With the FDA responsible for eighty percent of America’s food supply, and less than half working without pay, it’s become the nation’s responsibility to take care of one another and call light to this issue. Doctor Scott Gottlieb started a thread on Twitter calling action to restore food inspection and even hopes to regroup 150 furloughed workers back to work. Not only is it the FDA regulating ailments, but the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) claims responsibility for poultry and it is still getting inspected—but without pay. Now with all the facts, what exactly goes into checking and supervising the safety of food?

Dating back to 1904, the first demand for healthy working conditions and consumption all starts with Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. History repeating itself can be quite the bitter irony, but with these new laws and regulations put in place, it’s important to acknowledge what goes on in the room where it happens, quite literally how the sausage gets made. Alongside basic testings for bacteria, the FDA also searches for pesticides used on greens, natural toxins secreted, and even types of metal found in food such as arsenic. Then beyond edible goods, Veterinary medical supplies, prescriptions, and even cosmetics are inspected causing even broader threats with the shutdown.

President Trump has since now offered a compromise of reopening the government, funding DACA children and furthering immigrant safety, all alongside the funding for the wall. The speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (Democrat) has already denied the request.