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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

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LESS DREADING, MORE DOING

This is the rubber-meets-road moment: the early days in our first fundraising drive since we took a big swing and merged with CIR to bring fearless investigative reporting to the internet, radio, video, and everywhere else that people need an antidote to lies and propaganda.

Donations have started slow, and we hope that explaining, level-headedly, why your support really is everything for our reporting will make a difference. Learn more in “Less Dreading, More Doing,” or in this 2:28 video about our merger (that literally just won an award), and please pitch in if you can right now.

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