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Obama Orders Review of FDA in Salmonella Outbreak
Date:2/2/2009

Saying his daughter should be able to eat peanut butter without getting sick, president acts as salmonella outbreak, peanut recalls, criminal probe continue

MONDAY, Feb. 2 (HealthDay News) -- President Barack Obama has ordered a comprehensive review of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as the investigation and peanut product recalls continue in the salmonella outbreak.

"I think that the FDA has not been able to catch some of these things as quickly as I expect them to catch," Obama said in an interview on NBC's "Today" show, according to the Associated Press. "And so, we're gonna be doing a complete review of FDA operations."

Obama said Americans should be able to count on the government to keep children safe when they eat peanut butter, and that includes his 7-year-old daughter, Sasha, the AP reported.

"That's what Sasha eats for lunch probably three times a week," Obama said. "And you know, I don't wanna have to worry about whether she's gonna get sick as a consequence to having her lunch."

Meanwhile, the recalls of peanut product continued to mount. As of Monday, more than 80 companies had issued recalls for everything from cookies, crackers, cereal and candy to ice cream, trail mix and dog treats.

On Friday, U.S. officials launched a criminal investigation into the Georgia processing plant owned by Peanut Corp. of America, which produced the peanut products known to be the source of the salmonella sickening of 529 people, and the possible deaths of eight others.

Dr. Stephen Sundlof, head of the FDA's food safety center, said the Justice Department will head up the investigation, with assistance from the FDA.

While the rate of new illnesses seems to be declining -- an indication that the outbreak may be winding down -- officials said reports of new cases could be expected to continue for weeks.

The current salmonella outbreak isn't the first ti
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