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Even under Obama, politics trumps science at the FDA & USDA

Posted in Politics

Call me crazy, but it seems to me that political back-scratching shouldn’t determine whether or not consumers eat tainted meat or take defective drugs:

Scientists and inspectors at the federal agencies responsible for food safety say they face political and corporate interference with their work, according to a survey released Monday by the Union of Concerned Scientists, a nonpartisan advocate for unbiased science in government.

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More than 1,700 scientists and inspectors at the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Agriculture responded to the survey, which was conducted by the Center for Survey Statistics and Methodology at Iowa State University.

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Almost half of those surveyed said that in the last year they had experienced “situations where corporate interests have forced the withdrawal or significant modification of [an agency] policy or action designed to protect consumers or public health.”

And 45% said they had experienced similar interference by members of Congress.

Source: Food safety scientists report political, corporate interference – latimes.com

If I had a magic wand, corporate interests would have absolutely zero influence over the ability of FDA scientists and inspectors to do their job.