UPDATE 11 JUNE 2008 Republican Senator Arlen Specter says the Bush administration is "drastically hindering" the FDA's ability to quickly get increased funding.
Salmonella in tomatoes is dangerous, but apparently even a deadly panic-inducing bacterium can have a good side: Its recent outbreak seems to have "persuaded" the Bush administration to request more support for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
This is good news here at GFNYC, which covered the troubled state of the FDA in this December 2007 post. As you can imagine, the policy turnaround is important to gluten-free people because the FDA is supposed to play a key role when it comes to ensuring that gluten-free food and medication really are gluten-free as well as safe in other respects. The more that gluten-free food hits the market, the more gluten-free "territory" the FDA will have to cover.
Here's a New York Times report on the matter. A highlight:
The announcement comes after a series of food and drug safety problems led a panel of outside advisers to the agency to conclude that American lives were in danger because the F.D.A. lacked the money, the staff and the scientific expertise to protect them.And here's a Wired report with attitude.
House Democrats have held 14 hearings over the past 17 months to highlight the agency’s shortcomings and urge the administration to propose additional money to address them, requests the administration has refused until now.
"Tonight’s admission by the F.D.A. that they need $275 million to shore up their broken system is a step in the right direction," Representative Bart Stupak, Democrat of Michigan, said Monday night.