Journalism in the Public Interest


Quick Picks: Getting Around the FDA and What Private Food Inspectors Miss

Quick Picks focuses on a select few of the day’s stories from “Breaking on the Web.”

  • After FDA scientists twice rejected a new medical device for fast-track approval, lobbyists convinced the agency to reverse course, the Wall Street Journal reports. ReGen, the Hackensack, N.J.-based maker of a medical device used to treat a common knee injury, rallied New Jersey congressmen to pressure the agency to break procedure and form an independent, outside panel of doctors to determine whether their latest device should be fast-tracked. Then, ReGen pushed inside the FDA, using political connections to guide the selection of panel members.
  • According to a New York Times report, the private sector isn’t doing a better job of regulating itself. A freelance food safety inspector hired by Kellogg to check out its peanut vendor missed rampant salmonella contamination at a plant in Georgia. Overwhelmed and underfunded government regulators like the FDA are losing ground in the inspection industry to private firms. But those firms often audit on the cheap and may be paid for their inspections by the very firms they are investigating, the Times reports.

Check out more of our roundup of the best investigative stories around the Web.

Was there a story we missed? Please keep sending us stories from your local paper, favorite blog or magazine, etc. via e-mail or Delicious.

Foxes guarding the Chicken Coop? Please who couldn’t see the conflict of interest when private for profit corps are allowed to be the oversight to their industry or clients.this is not only reckless endangerment, it’s a conspiracy to committ endangerment- Complicty on the part of lawmakers who allowed such incestual unions of Corps and regulatory agencies or ‘panels’. When this unholy alliance occurs in anything regarding public safety and health, peoples lives are a stake, and many have lost them because of this axis of evil idieology and legislation has repeatedly failed. Not only did logic dictate the obvious problems, but the number of deaths resulting from it have set a clear precedence. Thus continuing such practices is a blatant case of Malice. No more ‘Oops’ excuses, those law makers who passed these conspiratorial alliances should be prosecuted for reckless endangerment with forethought and malice. Maybe then they will start using their heads instead of their wallets to consider the ramifications of their bills.