Doug / 10-02-2013 / Consumer Safety

How the Federal Government Shutdown is Harming Your Health

As we’re sure you’re aware of by now, fighting between the parties in our nation’s capitol have lead to a shutdown of many of the Federal Government’s functions.  While we’re not about to weigh in on Obamacare and whether it is good or bad for the country or the economy, we do want to bring to light a few areas where the politicians’ refusal to find a compromise may already be impacting your health.

The FDA is ceasing non-emergency functions.  With 52% of the staff of the Department Health and Human Services furloughed the agency will “cease safety activities such as routine establishment inspections, some compliance and enforcement activities, monitoring of imports, notification programs (e.g., food contact substances, infant formula), and the majority of the laboratory research necessary to inform public health decision-making.”

That means that those FDA warnings and recalls we get on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis won’t be coming in anymore, and consumers will be open to harm as normal inspections aren’t being done.  While we’re sure the majority of manufacturers and distributors will keep the high standards already set, some won’t and many could potentially be harmed by contaminated food or pharmaceuticals.

The CDC won’t be monitoring for outbreaks.  Right at the beginning of flu season, the CDC is having to cut back and close operations that work to monitor the spread of the virus and work to prevent that spread.  Along with other programs that work to protect the health of Americans, these cutbacks have the potential to make your getting influenza more likely this year.

The USDA is offline.  According to the USDA site, their online activities have been suspended until funding returns.  Along with recalls similar to those the FDA sends out, the USDA also monitors the production and distribution of food and food products throughout the nation.  Without their oversight consumers are more likely to consume harmful or contaminated foods and become ill as a result.

With these and other Federally funded programs being shut down and/or suspended, the chances of your being harmed by a manufacturer, grower, or distributor increases.  While those in Washington bicker your health has the potential to get worse.

If you or a loved one have contracted an illness or been harmed by contaminated food please contact us and let us know the facts of your case.

Wooten Kimbrough, P.A.  Orlando Food Poisoning Attorneys

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