Failure at the FDA?

For those of you who read yesterday’s article, you know what a mess our food supply has become.

In the last eight years, the Food and Drug Administration, charged with safeguarding the health of our nation’s 300 million eaters, has not only seen its budget decline but has also seen its staffing levels fall behind its workload.

From 2003 to 2006, the number of food safety inspections conducted by the agency dropped by 47 percent, leading its own Science Board, chaired by Barbara McNeil, M.D., Ph.D., head of the Department of Health Policy at Harvard Medical School and a radiologist at the Brigham and Women’s in Boston, to declare that the agency could “no longer fulfill its mission without substantial and sustained additional appropriations.”

In “an alarming report,” the New York Times stated that the FDA had also declared that “American lives at risk” and that the FDA lacks resources and “can no longer ensure the safety of the food supply.”

And I thought all I had to worry about was the declining stock market and sick kids.

As I dug into additional research from organizations like the Cato Institute, the Environmental Working Group and the Royal Society of Chemistry, I learned that a lot of the scientific data highlighted in the press has been funded by the food industry and propagated by groups with legitimate sounding names like the American Council on Science and Health. I also learned that in the last ten years, our food supply had been chemically engineered in order to enhance product shelf life, productivity and profitability of food corporations.

But if you want to learn what the USDA has to say about all of this, I invite you to join us tomorrow here at to learn more!

Published on: March 31, 2009
About the Author
Photo of Robyn O'Brien

As the founder of AllergyKids, Robyn has appeared on Good Morning America, CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and CNN highlighting the role that chemicals in our food supply are having on our health. Robyn is the author of The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About it (Random House, May 2009).

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