Today’s Q for O’s WH

Jan 30, 2009 3:05pm

TAPPER:  There have been new revelations that call into question the ability of the FDA to keep our nation’s food supply safe with the salmonella epidemic.  More than 500 people are sick; more than half of them are children. Eight people have died. On the campaign trail last year, President Obama said, "As the parent of two young daughters, there are few issues more important to me than ensuring the safety of the food that our children consume." So what are you guys doing about this?

GIBBS:  Well, obviously, we’ve read reports I think on the AP wire today about trouble at FDA last year.  We’ve certainly read reports, and I think the Justice Department is looking into the business practices of the company in Georgia. And I know the president hopes in the next few days to announce a pick for commissioner at FDA to address all of what you said.  I think the revelations have no doubt been alarming, that whether it was our own regulatory system or a company that repeatedly found salmonella in its own testing would continue to ship out that product is beyond disturbing for millions of parents. The president, I said, in the coming days will have a new commissioner at FDA and hopefully will be able to announce also picks at things like the Consumer Product Safety Commission and places like that to put in place a stricter regulatory structure to ensure that the type of thing that happened in this case doesn’t happen again.

– jpt

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