National Opinions

San Jose Mercury News: Food safety under one roof

President Obama has a lot on his plate these days. But he should move quickly to create a single agency with the sole purpose of ensuring the safety of the nation's food supply.

The inefficiency of the current system boggles the mind. The Department of Agriculture receives 80 percent of the money allocated by Congress to ensure food safety, but it only regulates 20 percent of the supply -- meat, poultry and eggs. The Food and Drug Administration gets the other 20 percent of the money to watch over everything else.

The FDA is inspecting less than 1 percent of food imports.

Former President Bush saw the FDA as such a low priority that he didn't have a permanent commissioner in place for more than half of his years in office. It shows. Obama has a lot of catching up to do.

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