‘Maybe smell it first?’ recommends FDA

Humor by Prateek Joshi
Jan. 10, 2021, 8:17 p.m.

Acknowledging that the federal agency was swamped with the emergency approval process for a variety of COVID-19 vaccines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommended that, in the meantime, for every other food and drug product coming onto the market, Americans should “maybe smell it first?”

“Look, we’ve been pretty slammed with the coronavirus stuff as of late, so instead of e-mailing me a bunch of questions about the romaine lettuce you bought, just give it a little sniff and if it smells fine then it’s probably okay to eat,” explained FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn, who stressed that because it is an all-hands-on-deck effort at the agency to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the Johnson & Johnson, Novavax and AstraZeneca vaccines, you might want to look really closely at the lettuce yourself to check if anything seems strange.

“If there is no strong odor but you see any sort of odd spots that are red, yellow, blue, purple or black, then you might want to throw it out. If the spots are green-ish, I’d throw away those parts and eat the rest of the lettuce, but only if you bought it less than a week ago. Hold on, what does the sell-by date say again?” Hahn said.

Hahn went on to emphasize that while the American people should be highly confident in the integrity and rigor of the approval process for COVID-19 immunizations, they might want to think twice before eating any canned soups until at least April.

“I can assure you that all the highly trained scientists were working very hard to study the data from Moderna and Pfizer, but because of that we didn’t really have the capacity to stop Campbell’s from doing whatever the heck they wanted for a couple months,” continued Hahn, who added that a good rule of thumb for any type of beverage would be to swirl it around a couple times to verify that it is still a liquid. “Oh yeah, I also wouldn’t trust anything on the shelves right now that says: organic, high-fiber, nutrition facts, gluten-free, vegan, low-cholesterol or potassium. Especially potassium. Our potassium experts have been busy coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since March.”

Hahn ended the press conference by stating that although former Presidents Barack Obama, George Bush and Bill Clinton all trusted the scientific process enough to get vaccinated on live television, only Jimmy Carter was bold enough to down a tub of hastily approved Yoplait yogurt with the cameras rolling.

Editor’s Note: This article is purely satirical and fictitious. All attributions in this article are not genuine, and this story should be read in the context of pure entertainment only. 

Contact Prateek Joshi at pjoshi2 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

Prateek, a former editor-in-chief of Brown University’s satirical newspaper (The Brown Noser), signed with the Stanford Daily’s satire section in free agency. He also had one glorious month-long stint contributing headlines to The Onion, none of which were published. Feel free to send him article suggestions and harsh criticism at pjoshi2 ‘at’ stanford.edu. His favorite hobby is getting an M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering (Class of 2021), focusing on sustainable energy systems. When he’s not satirizing, he’s fervently searching for whoever had the nerve to claim the “pjoshi1” email username.

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