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Shutdown 'Puts US Food Supply at Risk'

10 January 2019

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency can't make the case that "a routine inspection of a Nabisco cracker facility" is necessary during the shutdown, however.

The U.S. food supply might be at risk because of the partial government shutdown. "They all go on as usual, despite the federal shutdown".

He said he's working to bring back inspectors as early as next week to restart inspections of the high-risk facilities.

After a year plagued by deadly E. coli outbreaks linked to widely distributed romaine lettuce, 2019 is off to an anxiety-inducing start.

"We're still doing ALL our regular foreign food inspections", Gottlieb said on Twitter. President Donald Trump has remained steadfast in his demands for $5.7 billion from Congress to construct a border wall and resisted Democrats' efforts to forge a deal to reopen the government without it.

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Gottlieb tweeted Monday that, under normal circumstances, "we'd typically do about 160 domestic food inspections each week, and about 1/3 of those would be considered high risk".

Each year, an estimated 48 million people are sickened by foodborne illnesses in the USA, leading to 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I think most people agree these inspections are important".

The FDA oversees 80 percent of the food supply in the US. "The idea that a couple weeks of no routine food inspections puts us all in danger is probably a bit of a stretch".

It's the rotten result of hundreds of FDA inspectors having been furloughed.

Shutdown 'Puts US Food Supply at Risk'