The government shutdown has already wreaked havoc on the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, threatened to disrupt essential federal programs, and filled the national parks with garbage. And now our food might be bad too, who knows?
Per the Washington Post today, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said the agency “has suspended all routine inspections of domestic food-processing facilities” in the U.S. because so many of its employees are furloughed.
This is distressing to me, a person who enjoys eating for both sustenance and pleasure. As the Post notes, the FDA oversees 80 percent of the country’s food supply. They’re the people who find the bad lettuce and tell you to stop eating the lettuce when it gets too much poop on it or whatever causes E. coli outbreaks. Now, because of a president who only eats McDonald’s and well-done steak, the food might be bad.
On the bright side, Gottlieb told the Post he’s trying to fix it, despite the ongoing shutdown:
He said he’s working on a plan to bring back inspectors as early as next week to resume inspections of high-risk facilities, which handle foods such as soft cheese or seafood, or have a history of problems.
“We are doing what we can to mitigate any risk to consumers through the shutdown,” Gottlieb said.
The thing is, the food that’s on shelves and in our fridges probably passed the FDA inspections a while ago. According to the paper, foodborne illness is a major problem in the U.S., making 48 million people sick every year and killing 3,000, even when the FDA is doing their jobs, which now they aren’t, because they can’t.
I’m about to get lunch. Will my food be bad? Probably not, but who’s to say if the shutdown drags on another couple weeks. That’s not fun for me to think about! Now you have to think about it too, because the filth-eating baby in the White House is holding the government hostage so he can build a big fence between us and Mexico.