More and more Americans are becoming aware of serious problems with the nation’s food supply. The August recall of 380 million eggs linked to a widespread outbreak of salmonella is just the latest in a series of fatal food poisonings that has shaken the nation.
There are many causes for our current food safety infrastructure being inadequate. But to get to the root of some of the problems, a recent survey commissioned by the nonprofit organization Union of Concerned Scientists asked a key public – FDA and USDA scientists – to “evaluate how well the government uses science to protect the food supply.” The results are enlightening.
Francesca Grifo, Scientific Integrity Program director at Union of Concerned Scientists
In May 2007, Iraq War architect Paul Wolfowitz resigned as World Bank President amidst several scandals – including raising the salary of his girlfriend (a Bank employee) above what rules stipulated, and then seconding her to an unusually-structured State Department-funded organization called the Foundation for the Future that involved Liz Cheney.
In trying to close the investigatory loop into exactly what the girlfriend, Shaha Riza, spent her time doing there, FOIA processes took a whopping 33 months to complete, spanning both the Bush and Obama administrations. What did the investigation find out? Why did it take so long? And, how has the process of obtaining information via FOIA changed under the Obama administration?
Shelley Walden, International Officer, Government Accountability Project
Patrice McDermott, Executive Director, Open The Government.org