• Congress Cutting Unnecessary Expenses, Like Food Safety

    If there's one thing that we, as Americans, can all agree upon — Republican or Democrat, rich or poor, liberal or conservative, gay or closeted — it's that the food that we put into our mouths doesn't really matter all that much. Meh. We can throw some vegetables onto our children's dinner plates and peacefully go about our days without a care in the world for where they came from or what strain of E. coli they're carrying. Hey, let the free market care for our families' health. That's what it's there for, am I right?

    That's why I think we can all throw our unmitigated support behind Congress' decision to slash the FDA's food inspection budget

    As much as 20 percent of the food Americans eat comes from other countries, but the federal Food and Drug Administration only has enough money to inspect 2 percent of that imported food. Now in spite of a new law to bolster safeguards, Congress is cutting the FDA's food inspection budget, CBS News chief investigative correspondent Armen Keteyian reports…

    In the wake of food borne illnesses linked to bad eggs, peanuts and spinach, the Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law early this year. It promised the most sweeping change to food safety in the United States since the late 1930s, supplying fresh funds to beef up FDA inspections and oversight…

    But earlier this month, a deficit-minded House slashed more than $200 million from the FDA's food safety budget for the 2012 fiscal year from a proposed $955 million to $750 million, $87 million less than the agency now receives.

    And, you know what? If you you think about it, what are you and your kids doing eating things like vegetables and peanuts and eggs anyway? You have a whole supermarket over there full of prepackaged "food" that's completely safe-ish and totally ripe for the unsealing.

    Tags: Economy, FDA, Food, Health, House of Representatives


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