Besides posting the occasional health alert, the Food and Drug Administration’s World Wide Web site might just have an ulterior motive: combating Republicans who call the agency anti-business and unnecessary.

“Our budget is shrinking,” says Bill Rados, the FDA’s director of communications. “We see the Internet as a way of continuing to get the word out.” The agency has taken to reporting product recalls on the site, and Web surfers who happen upon the weekly reports are likely to find them unsettling. A recent sampling:

Product: Fudge Bars (Superior Dairy)
Quantity: 219,312 bars
Reason: Cause a burning sensation in mouth and/or stomach, and may be contaminated with calcium chloride

Product: Fruit-flavored cereal (Malt-O-Meal)
Quantity: 742 cases (12 bags/boxes per case)
Reason: Contains small metal shavings

Product: Lifestyles lubricated condoms with Nonoxynol-9 (Ansell Inc.)
Quantity: 43 boxes
Reason: Product failed the firm’s water leak test, apparently due to deterioration of the latex

Product: Rocky Road Ice Cream (Alta-Dena)
Quantity: 33,820 cartons
Reason: Declares walnuts on the label; however, it actually contains almonds

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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