All those food safety fails this year? According to¬†Grist contributor Tom Laskawy, we’re simply on the precipice of more struggle. Citing Barry Estabrook’s critique on the Food and Drug Administration, he highlights critical ways in which the agency has failed us, and why it will continue to do so if changes aren’t made.

It has done a poor job of dealing with the overuse of antibiotics in livestock feed. It lacks the scientific capacity to perform its duties. Even when it does uncover health violations at food-processing plants, the FDA takes enforcement action in only about half of the cases and almost never imposes fines.

The issue boils down to a serious lack of resources in money and manpower. The agency is currently spending only about one-tenth of the $10 billion that it is allotted. The one bright spot: A recently passed federal law endows the FDA with more authority, which it has already flexed when it shut down another problematic peanut-butter processing plant.

[via Grist]