Monday, January 7, 2013

FDA To Introduce New Regulations Estimated to Cost Growers Half a Billion Dollars

Via Cousin John

We're from the federal government and we're here to grow lettuce. (Photo:  photofarmer/Flickr) 

We’re from the federal government and we’re here to help…you grow lettuce. 

Liberty News

I’m sure this will fix everything:
The Food and Drug Administration says its new guidelines would make the food Americans eat safer and help prevent the kinds of foodborne disease outbreaks that sicken or kill thousands of consumers each year.
The rules, the most sweeping food safety guidelines in decades, would require farmers to take new precautions against contamination, to include making sure workers’ hands are washed, irrigation water is clean, and that animals stay out of fields. Food manufacturers will have to submit food safety plans to the government to show they are keeping their operations clean.
That’s interesting.

I’m curious about one part of that second paragraph.  What, exactly, do they mean by “making sure…animals stay out of fields?”  Does that mean keeping livestock out of the fields where produce is grown, or does it mean keeping wild game out of the fields?  That’s a big difference.
I’d wager, since this is the creation of some bureaucrat in a cubicle in DC, it’s the latter.
And, as with all new things from the federal government, it comes with a hefty price tag:
The long-overdue regulations could cost businesses close to half a billion dollars a year to implement, but are expected to reduce the estimated 3,000 deaths a year from foodborne illness. The new guidelines were announced Friday.
First, note the bias in the first sentence.  Who decided these regulations were over-due?  The writer?  The FDA?  The editor?

I don’t think they are overdue.  I think they are unnecessary.

Why is the regulation of how commercial produce is grown a federal matter?  Why isn’t it a local matter?  Or state?

Would it be acceptable if, as a supposedly un-biased journalist, I wrote, “The wholly unnecessary regulations could cost…?”

No, nor should it be acceptable when subtle bias like the above is introduced.

But the bigger issue is the price tag.  Half a billion dollars in new regulations.  Guess what that actually means?

Fewer jobs, higher prices.

Final question:  do you think the federal government will have the same willingness to save 3,000 lives at the cost of half a billion dollars when they are running our health care?

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