Today only 13 slaughterhouses process the majority of the beef consumed by 300 million Americans. Eric Schlosser on the sorry state of our food supply safety efforts and the role politics has played in making it less safe. One chilling statistic: "Cutbacks in staff and budgets have reduced the number of food-safety inspections conducted by the F.D.A. to about 3,400 a year -- from 35,000 in the 1970s." With food distribution more centralized than ever, ensuring the safety of our food supply is critical.

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