As a shocking consequence of the government shut down, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reduced inspections to the nation’s food, according to The Washington Post.
Although all routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities have been suspended, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb has promised, “we are doing what we can to mitigate any risk to consumers through the shutdown.”
The Center for Science in the Public Interest says that “this puts our food supply at risk.” Deputy director of regulatory affairs, Sarah Sorscher, says “regular inspections, which help stop foodborne illness before people get sick, are vital.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 3,000 people per year die from foodborne illness in the U.S.
Typically, the FDA conducts approximately 160 food inspections a week in the U.S. During the shut down, the agency can not conduct those inspections but continues to inspect foreign manufacturers, imports and domestic producers involved in recent recalls or outbreaks, and anywhere else there may be an issue.
Compared to previous government shutdowns, this one has been especially disorderly, as the Trump administration was not prepared for the effects of closing down major departments, such as the FDA.