Republicans reject food safety initiatives
In response to a broad range of food safety problems experienced by Americans over the past five years, the FDA and Congress have been attempting to adopt new food safety regulations. Unfortunately, Republican leaders have already undercut the initiative by rejecting needed improvements. The bill, originally devised with bipartisan support, called for all food manufacturers to pay an annual $1,000.00 fee to support quadrennial inspections and other monitoring. The head of the FDA says that this fee is not adequate, but Republican leaders in Congress have already refused to support even this fee as "too high."
Republican Congressional leaders also maintain that a rule requiring that foods be labeled with their country of origin is unduly "burdensome" and have complained about a provision that would give the government the right to force recalls or subpoena maunfacturing records. While the food industry claims that it has ultimate responsibility for safety, and therefore no regulation is necessary, its advocates in Congress and in the Chamber of Commerce are pushing for limits on lawsuits and damages to victims that undercuts this argument. Further, this "no need to regulate because the industry won't do anything irrational" is precisely the false justification that lead to the collapse of our deregulated financial industry.