Anti-Bacterial Soap, Genetically Engineered Salmon, And More Products We Wish FDA Would Regulate
It's the cooking, cleaning, and coughing time of year, and the Food And Drink Administration is ON IT. Well, sort of. To be fair, they finally paid attention to that 40-year-old suggestion that anti-bacterial soap was actually pretty bad for us. You can thank the additive triclosan for that one, what with all of its hormonal side effects and encouragement of even crazier bacteria.
So, that's one thing the FDA has going for it... but what of the other products we keep hearing might be dangerous? Genetically modified salmon? Is that really going to be a thing? All of that contamination in almost all raw chicken? And what about those drugs in our drinking water? Shouldn't they be on that?
Sigh. Here's our holiday wish list for what the FDA should be investigating. And it's only five days before Christmas, guys, so step on it.
Genetically Engineered Salmon, Any Day Now?
Any day now, the FDA is set to rule on whether genetically engineered salmon can be sold in stores. The frankenfish, made by Massachusetts firm AquaBounty, would be the first of any genetically engineered animal to be approved for sale and consumption — and they’ve already been approved by the FDA as safe.
If they do go on sale, those frankensalmon will probably lead to new labeling laws — and a measure attached to an agriculture spending bill now requires the FDA to spent at least $150,000 on labeling the fish. Going to be a pretty label, that.
See Ya, Salt?
So we all know it’s bad to consume too much salt, but even if we’re not putting it on our food, plenty of salt is still found in the food supply. Unfortunately, when food manufacturers try to take it out, we don’t seem to like it too much (maybe because then, the food actually tastes processed.)
But a whole 90 percent of Americans consuming about twice as much of that good ol’ NaCl as we should, the FDA might want to decide on a plan to get us off our compound habit. It is on their ”priority list,” they say, after all.
Glass of Water, Please?
A recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency found more pharmaceutical traces in drinking water supplies than previously thought. Problem is, no one knows exactly what to do about it: Health officials (hiya, FDA!) don’t really know how low-level, long-term exposure affects humans.
However, the EPA does know it’s pretty bad for fish, and eight out of the 10 drugs the EPA was going after in our water exceed what’s considered safe for them.
“Who would have thought that those trace amounts would be having that impact on fish?” said Raanan Bloom, senior environmental officer for the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “We didn’t expect that to happen at those concentrations.”
But there are no federal or state regulations requiring treatment plans to monitor the levels of these compound, so, you know, maybe the FDA and EPA should get on that. Cough.
To Come: Chicken?
A study out this week found that up to 97 percent of chicken breasts are contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria, including salmonella. So far the FDA has announced no investigations relating to this study, but the universal “OMG WHAT” response could be enough to prompt something soon.
In other FDA-poultry news, the FDA in September allowed chicken born in the U.S. but processed in China to be exported back to the U.S., despite concerns surrounding major contamination instances.
However, imports will fall under the Food Safety Modernization Act, bipartisan legislation intended to help modernize our food supply’s regulations. So, fingers crossed…
Household Cleaning Product Help?
Basically, FDA doesn’t regulate household cleaners at all.
The stuff that you clean your floors with and scrub black mold off your tiles with? Clean the toilet and sink with? Zero regulation, because the FDA regulates what’s ingestible. It’s fine if you can afford the organic stuff, or motivate yourself to make your own, but for regular people, there’s no way of knowing what’s really in our household cleaners. Even though manufacturers are legally required to list both active and harmful ingredients, the rest of what’s in there is a mystery.
And the antibacterial soap debacle? Well, cleaning products labeled as “anti-bacterial” could disappear from shelves if the soaps go, too, but we’ll never know what else was in there. While we won’t drink our Windex anytime soon, maybe some regulation would be a good idea, guys?