Doing Away With Food Safety Enforcement – A Modest Proposal

I’ve just figured out how to cut nearly 1.3 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR from the US budget deficit.

All we have to do is to close down USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and FDA’s Food Safety activities (including the Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition) and let the food industry take care of itself.

Just think. No more on-site inspectors in meat and poultry plants. No expensive government lab facilities with their high-priced staff. No mandatory HACCP. No mandated recalls. No bureaucratic nonsense about registering food facilities.

And no penny-ante fines and penalties for transgressions of food safety laws. Let the courts and the personal injury lawyers have their fun.

What’s the worst that could happen? After all, aren’t most companies ethical, and wouldn’t they bend over backwards to maintain their reputations?

So, there’d be an occasional lethal outbreak of Salmonella due to contaminated meat or poultry.

So, there’d be the odd outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 because of contaminated lettuce or melons.

So, every now and then, a company would knowingly ship Salmonella-contaminated food to its customers.

So, our raw poultry would have a 1:5 chance of being contaminated with Salmonella and would be guaranteed to contain Campylobacter.

So, a consumer couldn’t tell where a raw shell egg was produced or packaged simply by looking at the egg.

So, what’s the big deal? 

Would we be any worse off than we are under the present system?

11 thoughts on “Doing Away With Food Safety Enforcement – A Modest Proposal

  1. food colorings?? made with natural ingredients…are you kidding me. They’ve been tested and are approved and safe. otherwise we’d all be dead. Our skin touches more toxins in a day and we breathe more than we could ever eat.


  2. guess you wouldn’t be bothered by the Chinese that live above me, that produce food for a buffet until 3 am…pounding, smashing, who knows what. They do clams, lobster, sushi…lots of seafood. We get about 3 – 5 hrs of sleep. Not sure if they are licensed, but I will not eat their food! They party, throw cigarettes and trash all over the complex. I doubt they wash their hands either. You want this kind of operation to go unnoticed? This is a fire hazard as well. It’s people of authority that need to crack down on this crap, to protect citizens because they trash their food is not contaminated. Funny, too…most of these Chinese upstairs are boys and men…we hear the effects of “having other fun” too…wink, wink, if you know what I mean. Still want to go eat there? pfffgh

    MSG is a natural occurring amino acid. WE are natural occurring amino acid. Nothing wrong with it. People you need to get educated. eye roll


  3. totally nuts. and our health care costs are already extraordinary. So what, you say that people can die from unclean products…you’re joking, right? I bet you voted for George Bush, not once, but twice and still like him too. This is totally out there in left field…tree huggers that want wars run with middle men and all our libraries and post offices closed too. Ridiculous.


  4. Phyllis – the big problem with this suggestion is that it would eliminate the opportunity payroll and wealth generation for people living of the avails of unsafe food. I have long argued that the classical calculations on the cost of foodborne disease should require the deduction of the opportunity payroll and opportunity wealth generated; in other words subtract that payroll and wealth generated that would would not have been possible unless there are foodborne outbreaks.


  5. Mollie, I always thought that the appropriate punishment for companies that produce contaminated foods would be to force the corporate executive team to go on a diet consisting of the contaminated food they put on the market. The same thing goes for polluters – make them swim in the stuff!


  6. Phyllis, you radical you!

    Wait, I can add a doozie – how about capital punishment for all the offenders? Just stand them up against a wall, ask them if they wish to apologize for their dirty deeds and pow.

    I’m kidding of course. If it doesn’t work in China, why would it work anywhere else?


  7. Ethical business is a no sense, business either in food or any other goods is making money! U.S. import a lot of meat and poultry from Mexico and/or south America where HACCP and food safety in manufacturing is very little or no existent. Control Agencies like USDA and FDA are controllers and enforcers of established laws to which Industry should comply. The real scenario is that the food chain should be as short as possible, food business create, over decades, an extremely long food chain adding coloring and chemicals to extend food shelf life.
    Going away with controling Agencies will save a lot of money but expertise and scientific research would also go away as well as educational opportunities. I do not think that the saving will worth at the end. Allthought the final responsability is always on the consumer, proper education of what food to buy, consume and in what condition is on the final consumer. Junk food is eaten by junk people. Thanks!


  8. Doesn’t sound like it!! And let’s not even get into all the hurtful chemicals in our supermarket food with no oversight, like MSG; HFCS; food colorings; etc.


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