On April 30th the FDA announced they would be hiring 1300 new associates. On the same day they announced the completion of this initiative, they also warned that baby formula could be contaminated.
The following was from the FDA April 30th press release which also corresponded with the Salmonella Saintpaul outbreak which ended up sickening over 1400 people. In fiscal year 2008 alone, the FDA is looking to fill more than 600 new positions and to backfill over 700 others to implement the FDA Amendments Act of 2007, the Food Protection Plan and the Import Safety Action Plan. That’s nearly triple the number of people hired from 2005-2007.
The question begging to be asked, is with the hiring of thirteen hundred individuals completed which includes biologists, chemists, medical officers, mathematical statisticians and investigators, are we safer? Additionally, is our supply chain any more traceable? It appears we are making progress.
It appears as though we are reacting more quickly also. The bay formula problem is not with products manufactured in the United States. The problem is with formula made in China not for sale in the U.S. which contains melamine the same contaminant that was responsible for poisoning and killing thousands of dogs in the United States during 2007. The fear is that the products could make their way into Asian neighborhood markets illegally. The FDA has already contacted all U.S. manufacturers and is working with state and local health agencies to notify local Chinese communities. This is a good job by an over worked agency.
We continue to believe that the best possible protection for consumers and risk mitigation for retailers is a traceable supplier database that supports more than one forward one back tracking.
We look forward to your comments.