Far-Reaching Impacts of the Government Shutdown

Politics aside, I wanted to bring to light how the shutdown can work its way through more than just the federal government employees currently on fulough. I found an article that discusses the governmental body that’s responsible for checking vaccines before they go out to customers. Those employees are on furlough, so there are massive batches of vaccine that the manufacturer can’t release to customers. When customers run out of what they have on hand, they won’t be able to continue their business. In one particular case, the vaccine is used on poultry. The article mentions that other industries — like pork and beef — may also be at risk of the same problem. This trickles down to consumers, too. Vaccines are part of making our food supply safe and continuous. If producers aren’t able to vaccinate, they may not be able to send food into our grocery stores. Without steady production, we could see meats become less available and/or more costly. The industry operations may have to lay off employees.

The CEOs of several companies sent a letter to Washington discussing their concerns. Here’s an excerpt:

“Animal health vaccine release is an essential activity. With the far ranging impact on food safety, human health and animal health, we are seriously concerned about the disregard of this fundamental understanding. We ask appropriate funding be allocated immediately so there are no interruptions at CVB. We need these employees back on the job as soon as possible.”

A colleague of mine works for the FDA. He’s not sure on a day to day basis whether he’ll have to report to work or not. His job also involves keeping the food supply safe and steady.

No matter how much we like or dislike entering the political arena, the activities of our government reach all the way down to your dinnerplate. If that’s not reason enough to pressure your representatives, I’m not sure what would be!

The article I referenced in the post was written by Brianna Pfannenstiel of the Kansas City Businness Journal.

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