When you sit down to eat, you probably don't pause to wonder if your food is safe -- but 76 million people get sick from their food every year. Why is food inspection slipping through the cracks?
Interviewer: Two year old Kevin’s family thought he had a bad case of the flu. Pat Buck: The live report came back that it was positive for E. coli. Interviewer: It turns out to be a deadly strain of bacteria that came from something he ate. Pat Buck: He crash by having the heart attack. His body swelled up the three times that’s normal size. Then he had to start heart attack and he died. Interviewer: Kevin’s grandmother Pat Buck uses from hurting to fill her mission. She runs the center for food borne illness research and prevention. Pat Buck: This is unacceptable, and I will work as hard as I can talk to people about it. So they start understanding. Interviewer: Caroline Smith DeWaal routinely testifies before congress about the problems in the FDA. Caroline Smith DeWaal: The heart of any reform effort lies in prevention not response. Interviewer: The agency as in charge of 80% of the food supply. Caroline Smith DeWaal: FDA really has mission impossible. Interviwer: The FDA regulates more than 1 trillion dollars in consumer goods, that’s 25 cents of every consumer dollar. Since 1990 the volumes of imports increase more than 900% and that’s for the number of inspectors. Steve Grossman: We have components agency that had 11, 000 staffers, six years ago that now have 700 and those of the people responsible for food safety. Interviewer: The FDA is set to receive a little over 2 billion dollars this year, that’s comparable to one school districts budget in one country in Maryland. Steve Grossman: The superintendent in the school has covering maybe 100 square miles and the commissioners worrying about the world, same amount of money. Interviewer: In honor for grandson Pat will continue her fight for safety, that’s starts at the dinner table. I’m Melissa reporting.