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Why Can't Our Regulatory Agencies Perform?

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Econ101

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IA Sen jumps on FDA, BSE Rpt



Harkin Urges Swift Action to Strengthen BSE Testing

Iowa Ag Connection - 11/10/2005



Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) Wednesday called on Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) acting administrator Andrew von Eschenbach to quickly remedy problems in FDA's animal feed testing program that were outlined in a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study released Wednesday. GAO found that in some instances, the evaluation of animal feed samples in the FDA testing program was not being completed until weeks or months after the feed was sampled. GAO also found that FDA is failing to document follow-up reviews when the testing program turns up potential violations of the FDA's ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban.

Feeding ruminant byproducts back to ruminants is considered the principal pathway for the transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).



"The GAO concluded FDA's feed testing program does not ensure industry compliance with rules prohibiting ruminant byproducts in feed intended for cattle. Keeping ruminant byproducts out of cattle feed is the most important firewall against BSE getting into or spreading among U.S. cattle," said Harkin. "If FDA's testing program is not designed to catch violations in a timely manner, than that needs to be corrected immediately."



FDA had prevented GAO from obtaining information needed to assess the feed testing program earlier this year, thus delaying the completion of the GAO study of the effectiveness of FDA's ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban rule. The report released Wednesday focuses on a portion of the ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban: testing done to ensure the feed industry complies with FDA guidelines. GAO found that FDA's feed testing program -- which is meant to ensure compliance with FDA's rules against feeding ruminant byproducts back to ruminants -- in fact provides "no additional assurance of industry compliance" because of FDA's poor design and implementation of the testing program. It notes that FDA's poor documentation of results makes it impossible to assess FDA's thoroughness in addressing feed rule violations.



"FDA needs to provide clear direction to its labs and district offices that analyze cattle feed and take a more active role in managing the feed testing program," said Harkin. "Right now, it appears FDA's feed testing program is largely for show and not ensuring industry compliance"



In March 2005, Senator Harkin released a GAO report on compliance with FDA's anti-BSE feed rules. That report outlined problems in FDA's enforcement of the ruminant-to-ruminant feed ban and a lack of compliance with the FDA rules by the animal feed industry. GAO discovered that while FDA claims 99 percent industry compliance with its regulations, that assertion is based on inspecting only a fraction of all feed plants and on not counting a plant as in violation of the FDA feed rules if the plant eventually works to comply.





iowaagconnection.com
 

PORKER

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FDA had prevented GAO from obtaining information needed to assess the feed testing program earlier this year.Where's PHILLIS ????
 

mrj

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reader (the Second) said:
I imagine she got muzzled after her last foray. Johanns was livid I presume from his public statements.

I actually thought once the scandal died down, she would be fired or moved to another govt job.


What if........all this has more to do with bureaucratic turf wars, and politicians' headline seeking muscle flexing than any of the usual "conspiracy" theories????
 

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