HD Director Wants Bucks Behind Food Safety Bill
The FDA’s New Food Safety Modernization Act could put more teeth into the inspection work done by Health Departments around the Country… Here’s that story from Ktwo Radio’s Karen Snyder…
Casper-Natrona County Health Department Director, Robert Harrington, joins his counterparts nationwide in applauding passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act, but he says he hopes there’s also some money behind it. “That’s historically been a huge problem that congress gives federal agencies, and particular FDA, authority and then doesn’t give them enough resources, enough manpower.”
Harrington says the bill gives long overdue increased authority to the Food and Drug Administration so they have the powers to do what they’re suppose to do.
“One seemingly small thing, and it’s amazing it hasn’t been there until now, is that Food and Drug has not had the power, the authority, to order a recall of tainted or contaminated product. They had to, literally, go to the manufacturer and ask them to recall it.”
He says there are hints in the bill that there may be more support going out to local agencies, something he would welcome. Harrington says Natrona County hasn’t done to badly through the budget crunch of late. His department has only lost one field worker to cutbacks. “Other local departments across the country have suffered terribly and by extension the public suffers too, because that means there are fewer people out there keeping an eye on the integrity of the food system.”
He says he expects some of the expanded resources outlined in the bill to trickle down to the local level.