Obama calls food safety system a 'hazard to public health'

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

United States President Barack Obama announced on Saturday that the country's food safety system is a "hazard to public health".

The president announced the nomination of a new agency commissioner for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), former New York City Health Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

Obama said that the FDA was able to make inspections at only 5% of the nation's 150,000 food processing premises after recent understaffing and underfunding at the agency. He added that outbreaks of food contamination have increased from 100 a year in the early 1990s to about 350 a year today.

Is Obama doing the right thing?

"That is a hazard to public health. It is unacceptable. And it will change under the leadership of Dr. Margaret Hamburg," Obama promised.

The president has also suggested an additional US$1 billion in the country's 2010 budget for extra inspectors and improved laboratories for the FDA.

See also

Food and Drug Administration on Wikipedia.