The Food and Drug Administration posted a "Mid-Course Correction" to its Web site just weeks after the GAO report was published, based on its own survey conducted at the same time as the GAO examination. FDA highlighted areas needing attention, agreeing in principle with several criticisms in the GAO report, and said the agency would step up inspections of domestic and foreign product, and focus on the highest-risk plants -- those processing species prone to histamines or pathogens, or those operating without HACCP plans.
GAO compared FDA's frequency of inspection unfavorably to that of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which has 7,000 inspectors.
"They've impacted our ability to get all our work done," said one FDA inspector. "We've taken on a few people, but nowhere near what we'd need to do everything they want us to do. We'd probably have to double our resources for that."