Embarrassed by repeated scandals that not only showed the vulnerabilities of food, drugs and cosmetics to contamination, but killed pets and sickened thousands of Americans, the FDA is trying to pull itself up by its bootstraps.
And buy some new boots.
The Food and Drug Administration plans to hire 1,300 new employees to "to help meet the agencys responsibilities to assure the safety and/or efficacy of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, food, cosmetics and products that emit radiation."It takes a large pool of talented people for the FDA to protect and promote the public health, said John Dyer, FDAs Deputy Commissioner for Operations and Chief Operating Officer. Each month there is a delay in bringing critical staff on board impairs the agencys ability to fulfill this mission.
While we all would have wished that sentiment guided the Bush Administration before now before melamine-tainted pet food killed so many pets, or faux-Heparin killed so many people the belated bolstering of professional watchdogs at the agency is welcome. It expects to fill 600 new positions and 700 existing positions this year, and more in subsequent years.
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