In February the president of the United States met with a group of CEOs from pharmaceutical companies and promised to drastically cut regulations instated by the Food and Drug Administration (the FDA) by 75-80%. The president has also issued an executive order, applicable across all federal agencies, stating that for every new regulation issued, at least two existing regulations must be eliminated. and in particular effectiveness.

It is reasonable to expect a government agency that has been in place since 1904 could benefit from some rescaling, but what would an 80% cut to the FDA’s regulations and policies look like? Part of that answer will depend, of course, on who is appointed to head the FDA. But to get a better idea of what could be cut, let’s look at what the FDA actually does.

What does the FDA do for you?

1. The FDA ensures that the food you eat is “safe, wholesome, sanitary, and properly labeled”. (Exceptions include meat, poultry, and some egg products which are instead regulated by the US Department of Agriculture.) This includes, for example, routine, random testing of produce and cheeses that have protected consumers by detecting contamination from ecoli bacteria and listeria.

 

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