(Thomas Mitchell/4TH ST8)
Leave it to Congress to kill a gnat with an anvil.
Harry Reid takes to the pages of the Nevada Appeal today to celebrate the first anniversary of the Food Safety Modernization Act being signed by President Obama and to call for still more legislation at your expense.
“We mark the one-year anniversary of that modern food safety law this month and, as food outbreaks and recalls have continued, we must remain steadfast in implementing the new law,” Harry writes. “On this front, Nevadans scored a victory last month when the FDA received the 2012 funding it needs to improve how we inspect food before it reaches grocery stores and dinner tables.”
Never mind that the bill will cost taxpayers $1.4 billion over the first four years alone. And who has ever known any government cost to decline? Nor pay any attention to the fact that increased inspections and paperwork and fines that will be required by 50 new food safety rules will cost producers, transporters and sellers billions of dollars to comply — costs that will be added to the price of food. Inflation is a tax, too.
Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said at the time that the bill will “grow the government, increase food prices, and drive small producers out of business without making our food any safer.”
Also, never mind that the vast majority of food-borne illness is due to improper handling, storage and preparation of food. Nor should it be noted that the number of food-borne illnesses had been declining long before the law was passed.
On top of this Harry wants to pass yet another superfluous law.
“Yet inaction on other vital measures threatens the integrity of the law,” Harry writes. “The Food Safety Accountability Act would hold accountable those who knowingly violate food safety standards and place tainted food products on the market. While this bill passed unanimously in the Senate in April, Republicans in the House of Representatives refuse to even hold a vote on this important provision.”
It makes no difference to Harry that there are plenty of laws on the books making it a crime to “knowingly” endanger the health, safety and lives of others. Also, he never misses a chance to blame Republicans. I’m not sure he can go through a day without saying it is the Republicans’ fault for something.
Also, never mind that the little Henderson girl who possibly became ill eating E. coli-tainted spinach in 2006, as mentioned by Harry, might’ve benefited from the FDA allowing irradiation of spinach, which it did in 2008.
Since the greatest danger crops up after the food leaves the store — when we fail to properly store, wash and cook food — will Harry be pushing for a horde of kitchen police to make surprise inspections of our refrigerators and kitchen sinks? Of course, they’ll need to be accompanied by armed SWAT teams to assure their safety.