Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


Any bulk food shipment can easily get contaminated. Mold, animal feces, even broken glass, can find its way into food that is stored in large quantities awaiting long- distance shipment.

Though the Food and Drug Administration has a budget of about $7,140,000 a year for employing 205 inspectors and analysts whose job it is to check food coming into the United States, it has no regular program to check food going out of the country. If what we found in San Francisco is any indication, the FDA hasn’t checked food exports for several years.

Because the same ships and docks are often used for imports and exports, these inspectors sometimes run across contaminated foodstuffs headed abroad. But the lack of any program for inspection guarantees the easy export of adulterated foods. The following examples of contaminated food were noted by an FDA official in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Government Operations in July 1978:

  • 6,796 boxes of insect-ridden rice bound for Chile.

  • 3,250 pounds of moldy flour bound for Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

  • 200,000 pounds of yellow cornmeal contaminated with bird and rodent feces bound for the Netherland Antilles.
  • TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

    We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

    The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

    That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

    And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

    payment methods

    TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

    We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

    The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

    That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

    And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

    payment methods

    We Recommend

    Latest

    Sign up for our free newsletter

    Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

    Get our award-winning magazine

    Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

    Subscribe

    Support our journalism

    Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

    Donate