The US Department of Agriculture posted a tweet today (October 1) warning that no more food safety updates would be sent until the spending crisis is resolved.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service Twitter feed – which has 464,706 followers – posted the message: “Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this channel will not be updated until the federal government reopens.”
Swathes of US government activities are now closing down, after the two houses of Congress failed to agree a new budget yesterday.
Refused to agree a budget
The first government shutdown in 17 years began after the House of Representatives – dominated by the Republicans – refused to agree a budget unless the introduction of President Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms were delayed.
The US Food and Drug Administration is expected to suspend most of its food activities, including most routine establishment inspections and monitoring imports. But US meat inspections are expected to continue.
Prime Minister David Cameron warned the government shutdown could damage global economic growth.
“It is a risk to the world economy if the US can’t properly sort out its spending plans,” Cameron told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
A three week shutdown – the length of the government closure in 1996 – would slash up to 0.9% from US gross domestic product in this quarter alone, estimated global investment bank Goldman Sachs.