We're going to go through briefly some food safety numbers because I think they speak clearly and simply about the challenges that we face. Between 1998 and 2004, outbreaks in produce have almost doubled. Since 1990, there have been almost 650 outbreaks caused by produce and over 30,000 people have gotten sick.Against that backdrop, we find another set of numbers that I believe are equally troubli...
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more so. In 2003, there were 870 food inspectors at the FDA. By 2006, that number had dropped to 640. So the FDA lost 230 inspectors in less than 4 years and food inspections dropped nearly in half during that time. Safety tests for food produced in the United States have dropped by nearly 75 percent, and even though some 20 to 30 percent of our fruits and vegetables are imported, less than 1 percent are inspected by the FDA.