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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.

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