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How safe is our food?

Earlier this week, while finishing a lesson plan on MyPlate, I realized I could no longer access the website due to the government shutdown. This got me thinking, what else is affected by the shutdown? 

The Food and Drug Administration will have to cease most of its food safety operations. The FDA regulates 80 percent of the food supply and the administration will be unable to continue the majority of its food safety, nutrition and cosmetics activity.

“While the FDA will continue manning all meat production facilities with full-time inspectors, routine establishment inspections, some compliance and enforcement activities, monitoring notification programs (food contact substances, infant formula), and the majority of the laboratory research necessary to inform public health decision making will cease.”

Epidemiologists from the Centers for Disease Control will not be able to do microbial testing needed to track outbreaks back to their source.

WIC, Headstart and senior nutrition programs will not receive funding during the shutdown.

It is possible that nothing goes wrong with our food supply during this time but who can take that chance.

This weekend while I’m out and about, I will be looking for more than my usual crop from the farmer’s market and local farmers. Eating local makes even more sense to me during this time.

Sources:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/10/01/the-nine-most-painful-consequences-of-a-government-shutdown/

http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/29/20745618-a-government-shutdown-what-could-it-look-like?lite

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/bella/2013/10/government-shutdown-affect-food-safety.php