I’m so glad John Oliver is back! His latest expose on food safety is as always on point – at the same time being extremely funny! He explains the system under which food in the US is regulated (or not!), including the crazy fact that both the FDA and the USDA have some regulatory responsibilities in this area. Watch on.
Oliver is also good at using government documents to make his points. And this episode had a good one. He referenced a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Inspector General report from 2017 “The Food and Drug Administration’s Food-Recall Process Did Not Always Ensure the Safety of the Nation’s Food Supply”; so of course I had to check the Catalog of Government Publications (CGP). It’s sadly not surprising that this report was NOT in the catalog and so I had to send it in to GPO as an “unreported document.” Executive branch documents have long been problematic in being included in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) — for more of this history see ““Issued for Gratuitous Distribution”: The History of Fugitive Documents and the FDLP” by yours truly. And Inspectors General offices are among the worst. GPO doesn’t even include its own IG reports in the CGP so that should tell you something.
I hope others will join me in my Quixotic effort to report executive branch reports to GPO — and especially those from agency Inspectors General! — so that these important reports can be included in the FDLP and be preserved and made available for the long term. And now back to John Oliver:-)
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