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The special cabinet-level task force created by the White House to report on ways that the federal government can improve on border security and prevent the import of unsafe products has scheduled an October 1 public hearing during which citizens can offer advice and suggestions on the subject. The public’s contributions can be made live either in Washington, DC, at US Department of Agriculture (USDA) headquarters, via teleconference, or by writing to the government’s website.

The panel was formed earlier this summer after a spate of problems – ranging from toothpaste to food additives to toys – occurred with imported products, many of them from China.
KC's View:
I always think that the government officials would be petrified if thousands of people actually showed up for these things and demanded change with a Howard Beale kind of enthusiasm.

What happens on October 1, and what has been happening since July when the task force was named, probably won’t matter much. Maybe I’m just too cynical, but this isn’t just about safety. It’s also about economics and politics and foreign relations. China already is fighting back by taking steps against some US products that they say are unsafe, and if the mad cow disease situation has taught us anything, it is that government agencies don’t always take consumer-friendly approaches to problems. So I think they’ll offer up some platitudes and proposed rule changes, and hope things just settle down until there’s a new administration in town (whatever its persuasion).

Then again, maybe I’m just impossibly cynical.