"Were Food Inspections Really Stopped by the Shutdown?"

"Consumer safety advocates are sounding the alarm now that fewer government officials are at work to inspect food in light of the shutdown. But in reality, the government wasn’t doing much of that in the first place."

"The Food & Drug Administration only inspects a minute percentage of manufactured and imported food, conducting sporadic investigations at random. Most of the food recalls it coordinates are caught by the food companies themselves, rather than the FDA.

'When it comes to imported food, say the FDA was randomly screening 2% of low-risk shipments–going down to 1.8% because of the shutdown is a relatively meaningless change,' said Ben England, an attorney who worked at the FDA for 17 years and founded the law firm and consultancy FDAImports.com. 'The government is not protecting the consumer; the industry is,' he said. 'It’s in the best interest of the food manufactures to protect their customers.'"

Annie Gasparro reports for the Wall Street Journal October 4, 2013.

Source: Wall St. Journal, 10/07/2013