Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, August 15, 2011

Are You Eating Dangerous Foods?

I was shocked to read a article in the New York Times stating that nearly two-thirds of the fruits and vegetables and 80% of the seafood eaten in the United States now come from other countries. Half of the medical devices and 80% of the active ingredients in U.S. medications come from outside our country, often or usually from countries whose manufacturing standards, sanitation, and regulatory systems are vastly inferior to ours. These foods and medical prescriptions are repackaged by U.S. companies so Americans don't know where their foods and prescriptions come from.

Many of these products are made in China, which stiffly resists our efforts to investigate their contamination and counterfeiting. Several years ago, there was a notorious case of an imported Chinese pet food that killed or sickened thousands of our cats and dogs. Even worse was the contaminated blood-thinning drug from China that caused the deaths of 81 Americans.

The Food and Drug Administration wants a vastly increased budget to enable it to inspect these products where they are produced in other countries. A new food safety law requires the FDA to inspect 600 foreign food facilities within a year and greater numbers in succeeding years. Of course, such plans are vastly expensive, and there is no real assurance that inspection in foreign countries will be effective. The Chinese use every shenanigan to make our inspection practically worthless, such as demanding that we notify Chinese officials in advance of the exact date and time our inspectors will arrive.

For starters, I think that all imported foods should be clearly labeled to advise us where they come from. But the World Trade Organization has ruled we can't do that because it's a violation of the rule of free trade. We should get out of the World Trade Organization and refuse to obey any orders from busybody foreign bureaucrats.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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