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Few departments of government remained unscathed as hard won social, environmental and progressive economic improvement strategies underwent deep to devastating cuts. One potentially disastrous $10 million budget reduction impacts the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Modernization Act which was signed into law January 4, 2011. How soon we forget.
The budget cuts will likely mean that even fewer food safety inspectors will be available to conduct the “more frequent inspections” and inspections “based on risk” as called for in the FDA legislation. In addition, foods and facilities that pose a greater risk to food safety were to have received the most attention. These facilities and foods referred to include the meat products produced in this nation’s meatpacking and poultry processing factories – factories in which both worker and consumer food safety are constantly at risk.
Sadly, unenforced USDA, FDA and OSHA legislation continues to undermine both product and worker safety in the food industry which impacts the quality of life for both consumers and workers. Food workers, primarily immigrants and refugees, endure shameless treatment and long hours in every sector of the U.S. food industry – in plants, on factory farms and in the fields – for low wages, often victimized by injury, verbal abuse, and wage theft.