Obama to review FDA; peanut recalls mount

Source of Article:  http://www.ift.org/news_bin/news/news_home.shtml

2/05/2009-According to an article in The New York Times, President Obama says he wants to review how the Food and Drug Administration works. “I think that the FDA has not been able to catch some of these things as quickly as I expect them to,” said Obama in an interview that aired Feb. 2 on NBC’s Today show. The administration has yet to appoint a new FDA director, and this decision may be further held up because of the uncertainty over who will head the Dept. of Health and Human Services—the agency that oversees the FDA.

This comes after Peanut Corp. of America (PCA) announced Jan. 28 an expanded recall of all products produced in its Blakely, Ga. facility. Previously, PCA announced a recall of peanut butter and peanut paste; now the recall includes all peanuts (dry and oil roasted), granulated peanuts, peanut meal, peanut butter and peanut paste produced since Jan. 1, 2007. Because of this expanded recall, the number of food products being pulled from store shelves continues to rise. Currently, more than 800 consumer products have been recalled, leading FDA officials to call this one of the largest recalls ever. In a teleconference on Jan. 30, Robert Tauxe, Deputy Director of the Division of Foodborne Bacteria and Mycotic Diseases of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, confirmed that 529 persons from 43 states and an additional person in Canada have been infected with the outbreak strain of Salmonella. In that same teleconference, Stephen Sundlof, Director Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition at the FDA, confirmed that the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigation is involved in a Justice Department investigation of PCA.

The New York Times article

FDA release

FDA teleconference transcript download (pdf)



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