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Obama calls FDA to task

February 3, 2009 by  

Peanut butter is the latest food-related health scare botched by the FDAAdding his voice to the growing scandal surrounding a deadly salmonella outbreak, the president has criticized the Food and Drugs Administration for failing to do its job.

Barack Obama talked about the crisis involving tainted peanut butter during an NBC interview on Monday and was quoted by the Associated Press as saying, "I think that the FDA has not been able to catch some of these things as quickly as I expect them to."

He also said he would order a "complete review" of the agency.

This will go some way towards meeting the demands of many consumer groups and industry associations who have been calling for its overhaul, according to the Washington Post.

"The FDA is supposed to be a watchdog for consumers, and for too long, this agency has been coming up short," Jean Halloran, director of Food Policy Initiatives for Consumers Union, told the AP.

Over the last few years, the authorities had to issue numerous food recalls including contaminated spinach, baby formula, and pet food.

The current salmonella outbreak which killed eight people and sickened more than 500 has resulted in hundreds of food items being recalled.

Officials traced the source of the outbreak to a Georgia peanut plant owned by Peanut Corp. of America.

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