Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Coburn Blows It: Dr. Tom Goes Wrong (as Usual) on Food Safety

The U.S. Senate passed a food safety bill yesterday—with bipartisan support. In other words, the Republicans actually voted in favor of government helping the people.

Oh wait—not all Republicans. Oklahoma's own Tom Coburn, an opponent of all federal spending (or so it seems), thinks new federal rules will make things worse. This position holds that federal regulators are incompetent or corrupt, and that the food industry has a sterling record of self-regulation.

Both assertions are wrong, but that's not the kind of argument likely to sway an anti-spending True Believer like Coburn.

Here's how the Washington Post described the senator's positions:
The measure's most vocal opponent, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), argued that it would create layers of bureaucracy without making food safer.
"The problem with food safety is the agencies don't do what they're supposed to be doing now," he said. "They don't need more regulations. They need less."
Fortunately, Coburn lost. Meanwhile, the rest of us can, when the legislation becomes law, have more assurance that our eggs, peanut butter, spinach and other foods won't be contaminated and make us sick.

1 comment:

Man of the West said...

Before God, there are times when you absolutely stun me.

What did you think of the Tester amendment?

Have you talked to your suppliers of small-farm grown, organic produce?

Have you been down to Harvard Meats and talked to them about the impact this legislation will have on small-scale meat producers?

Have you ever seen Food, Inc? Did you pick up anything at all from it, if you did? Did you not notice what Joel Salatin (IIRC) told you about government regulation, corn, corn-fed cattle and e coli in beef and groundwater and so forth? About salmonella in chicken?

If you haven't seen that film, you desperately need to.

Are you going to see Farmageddon?

Lord have mercy, I'm pretty sure I'm more of an organic-whole-foods-small-scale agriculture person than you'll ever be. Feels like something of a role reversal.