The FDA and Our Food Supply

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Journalist Barry Estabrook and Natural Resources Defense Council Executive Director Peter Lehner discuss food and food regulations in the United States and the shortcomings of the Food and Drug Administration when it comes to food safety. Estabrook’s article “The FDA Is Out to Lunch” appears in OnEarth magazine.


Barry Estabrook and Peter Lehner

Comments [5]


If you want to change the system you have to vote with your wallet, period.

Dec. 19 2012 01:38 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Yes, you can buy organic products or ones that aren't certified organic but are labeled as raised w/out use of antibiotics. But they tend to be more expensive & are hard to afford for many people.

Dec. 19 2012 12:44 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Food chemical co's. hire the people who check the safety of their products. Financial co's. choose the people who rate them (do they still?). How many more examples of this are there?

Dec. 19 2012 12:34 PM

Some of the points being made now match exactly those made by Wargo — self-certification, self-monitoring, assumption of safety until proven otherwise, the revolving door.

And the drastic departure of the US from almost every other industrial democracy.

GMO foods, pesticides, plastics, chemicals, food additives, banking practices, and on and on.

Dec. 19 2012 12:32 PM

Wasn't there a program last week that also dealt with issues of US regulation?

The segment that shook me was an interview Mr. Lopate did with Yale scientist John Wargo in 2010 (I think). Wargo had looked at pesticides, nuclear testing, and other things.

And, sadly, the issues of gun control now in headlines also seem to fit into a larger picture that captures all these issues — deep hostility to regulation of profit-making enterprises in the US (coupled with deep protection of the wealthy, especially wealthy corporations).

Fracking is still another issue.

Take an area in which there are critical questions of regulation, large sums of money at stake, the US government (executive, legislative, and judicial) comes down against regulation and for the wealthy. Similarly, if the issue is individual Americans trying to protect their privacy against bank or telecom intrusion, again the government comes down in favor of big business.

The Obama White House is as much influenced by conservative economic thinking as Bush. Larry Summers, Cass Sunstein, Timothy Geithner, etc., are all advocates of big business at the expense of individuals of average means.

Dec. 19 2012 12:27 PM

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