According to the White House Press Office, unless Congress acts by March 1st, a series of automatic cuts – called a sequester – will go into effect to cut $85,000,000,000 across all government programs.

As for the impact of food safety, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could be forced to conduct 2,100 fewer inspections at domestic and foreign facilities that manufacture food products.  During the time of the roll-out of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), it seems a bad time to scale back the FDA’s work.

And, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) may have to furlough all 9,900 of its employees for about two weeks.   In addition to the lost inspections, meat production facilities of all kinds would have to shut down, because that can only operate with a FSIS inspector in attendance.