Tainted peanuts. Unsterilized syringes. Salmonella in Mexican chili peppers. A contaminated blood thinner from China that sent patients into life-threatening shock.
Some say the FDA is broken.
"Bet yourself a new hat or a fine dinner that you are going to have a scandal a month," said Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich. "They are running around like a lot of headless chickens."
Others, even some critics, see tentative improvements. Many defenders acknowledge the FDA is struggling.
"'Broken' is the kind of word that's sort of a fighting word," said Dr. Frank Torti, the cancer researcher serving as acting FDA commissioner. "We have recognized for a long time that more is needed. Because of a lack of (legal) authorities and inadequate resources, it's really hard to do the job."
Restoring the FDA's reputation will be a major challenge for an Obama administration that strode into town promising competent government.