Campaign 2012: Bachmann Targets Food Industry Regulations

 @ibtimes
on September 20 2011 6:10 PM
U.S. Food Safety
A scientist uses a microscope to check cultures. REUTERS

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann has a new target: Food regulations.

Bachmann said Tuesday that regulations from the Department of Agriculture were overburdening food producers, the Associated Press reports. This comes a week after the USDA announced broader testing for potentially deadly E. Coli in meet.

Like most in the Republican primary field, the Minnesota congresswoman has taken heavy aim at regulations. She has been a vocal opponent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank law. Also, she has criticized agencies such as the National Labor Relations Board and even the Environmental Protection Agency, which Bachmann has said, partially in jest, the job-killing organization of America.

However, Bachmann is the first candidate to explicitly go after food regulation.

That's part of the problem, the overkill, Bachmann told reporters during an appearance at a family-run meatpacking plant in Des Moines, Iowa. And when they make it complicated, they make it expensive and so then you can no longer stay in business.

Bachmann made her comments as she was wrapping up an Iowa tour, where the Congresswoman also visited Amend Packing Co.

We do have a clean record, Amend owner Kent Wiese told the AP, talking about the testing procedures required by the USDA. And it all costs money. And I just wish that they could simplify it and just test it once and be done with it.

Wiese said his business has never been cited with food safety violations, but he said his business struggled to keep up with the cost of the federal regulations.

Last year, Congress passed a food safety bill. The bill called for swifter food recalls, more food inspections and more information posted online about products that were being recalled.  According to CNN, the majority of food safety experts supported the bill, but some Republicans opposed the bill due to concerns over the legislation's cost and concerns over whether the bill would lead to higher food prices (the specific effects have yet to be determined).  

Bachmann voted against the legislation.

 

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