While government scientists test tomatoes methodically trying to determine the exact origin of the recent salmonella outbreak, on Capitol Hill, the Food and Drug Administration came under fire for failing to put its "Food Protection Plan" into operation - a plan that was first presented last November but still is not implemented...or even funded.
In a scathing report released Thursday, the General Accounting Office criticized the FDA for providing little guidance on how to initiate its food safety plan. Meanwhile, the Bush Administration tried to head off the controversy by proposing an additional $275 million for the FDA's budget. However, some argue that is still not enough and they remain critical.
The Centers for Disease Control estimates that close to 300,000 Americans are hospitalized each year and 5,000 die, because of an illness triggered by something they ate.