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House GOP Slashes Food Safety Funding Because ‘The Private Sector Self-Polices’

ProudProgressive 2011/06/17 18:35:16
You would think that the Republicans might run out of ways to deprive the American people of even the most basic necessities of daily life, but they keep at it. Now, apparently, eating safe food is a "luxury" that the poor of this country simply aren't entitled to.

Article excerpt follows:


House GOP Slashes Food Safety Funding Because ‘The Private Sector Self-Polices’


By Pat Garofalo


June 17, 2011 at 1:29 pm



Last year, a bi-partisan majority in Congress approved a new food safety law, the first significant upgrade of the nation’s food safety system since 1938. The bill was so non-controversial that it was approved by unanimous consent in the Senate. But House Republicans have been threatening to defund the new law through the appropriations process.



Following through on that threat, House Republicans approved a bill yesterday that would cut $87 million from the Food and Drug Administration, as well as $35 million from the USDA’s food safety and inspection service. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) explained that the House GOP is okay cutting food safety funding because the food industry “self-polices”:



“Do we believe that McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken and Safeway and Kraft Food and any brand name that you think of, that these people aren’t concerned about food safety?” Kingston said on the House floor. “The food supply in America is very safe because the private sector self-polices, because they have the highest motivation. They don’t want to be sued, they don’t want to go broke. They want their customers to be healthy and happy.”



Just this week, four people, including two children, were sickened by E. Coli in Washington state. But even without some of the high-profile food recalls of last year — including those of salmonella-contaminated eggs and E. coli-contaminated spinach — there is a significant public health justification for upgrading the nation’s food safety system. Currently, one out of six Americans suffers from a foodborne illness every year, with 128,000 of those resulting in hospitalization. Ultimately, 3,000 people die from foodborne illness each year, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.



The new food safety law gives the FDA the ability to force recalls, which it currently is barred from doing, and do more to inspect food coming into the country. At the moment, just one percent of imported food coming to U.S. ports is inspected.



Finally, the bill will actually save taxpayers money in the long-run. “The costs of failing to overhaul the food-safety system would ultimately exceed the legislation’s implementation costs,” said Erik Olson, director of food programs at the Pew Health Group. According to Georgetown University’s Produce Safety Project, foodborne illness costs the U.S. $152 billion annually.

Read More: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2011/06/17/247461...

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  • Orangedragan 2011/06/17 19:22:37
    Orangedragan
    +8
    Idiotic, idiotic, idiotic. All one has to do is look backward a single century to see that the private sector will ALWAYS sacrifice safety and quality to increase their revenue.

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  • PetrifiedElephantPoop 2011/06/22 11:03:36
    PetrifiedElephantPoop
    Great News!!! Losers!
  • Wilde~MoonChild ™ 2011/06/18 03:59:42
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    +2
    Too bad we all cant just live off of breast milk.. tho I'm sure the Republicant Party would find a way to ruin that too...
  • LilaGrace ~ Proud Liberal 2011/06/17 21:03:16
    LilaGrace ~ Proud Liberal
    +2
    As if we needed more proof that the Republicans don't give a sh** about us. Now they're apparently ok with thousands more of us getting sick and dying every year because of contaminated food. People better wake the hell up and vote these bastards out in the next election, before they kill us all. And some of you actually want to make one of these bastards President?
  • NarcolepticGoat 2011/06/17 20:47:36
    NarcolepticGoat
    +3
    The one and only thing the private sector ever polices is their bottom line.
  • Scott 2011/06/17 19:55:11
    Scott
    “We still have a food supply that’s 99.99 percent safe,” Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), the incoming chairman of the appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over the FDA, told The Washington Post. “No one wants anybody to get sick, and we should always strive to make sure food is safe. But the case for a $1.4 billion expenditure isn’t there.”

    We don't need 18,000 food policemen or the bureacracy that will inevitably make food cost even more. And, do you really think the government can do a good job at this? How have they been doing predicting flu epidemics the last few years?
  • LilaGra... Scott 2011/06/17 21:11:24
    LilaGrace ~ Proud Liberal
    +3
    Ah, that's a load of crap. Predicting which flu will hit next is the job of scientists, not FDA food inspectors. Making sure food is safe to feed to our children should NOT be left up to the companies whose only concern is quarterly profits and covering their a**es from lawsuits.
  • Scott LilaGra... 2011/06/19 00:17:49
    Scott
    If you wipe the crap away, you might notice those scientists are the CDC, Center For Disease Control, owned and operated by none other than the federal government. FDA? Same thing, differant shirts is all.

    I'll trust a business man / woman with 'skin in the game' way over some bureaucrat any day.
  • LilaGra... Scott 2011/06/20 12:56:11 (edited)
    LilaGrace ~ Proud Liberal
    Again, total crap. If you look at the incidences of food-borne illnesses, they have increased dramatically in the last decade. You won't trust the FDA food inspectors to make sure our food is safe to eat, but you'll trust a corporation with plenty to be gained by covering up their disgusting practices? You have such an unreasoning fear of the government that you think they can't be trusted, but it's obvious that these food companies' idea of "self-policing" is a joke, just based on the number of recent cases of e-coli in vegetables, salmonella in eggs, and contaminated meat. You go ahead and trust those greedy bastards who put profits before the safety of the consumer and who will (and HAVE) do anything to cover up their contaminated products to protect their own asses. If you really think they give a crap about your health and well-being, you are sadly deluded. If you had any idea how some of these companies (KFC, for instance) treat their "ingredients", you would realize that they couldn't care less about anything other than their bottom line. I feel sorry for you that you are so distrustful of the government that you would rather put your faith in the companies who make thousands of people sick every year.
  • Scott LilaGra... 2011/06/20 14:10:58
    Scott
    Let's put the government in charge or America's food supply to keep us safe. On the surface, it seems like a reasonable argument: No one should ever die from unsafe food in America, right?

    But to accomplish a net reduction in deaths, you'd need to grant power over the food supply to some organization that actually respects human life... and the FDA is not that organization.

    The FDA has a long and rather dubious history of keeping dangerous, deadly drugs on the market even after it knows those drugs are killing people.

    The FDA has even gone out of its way to ignore critical evidence about dangerous drugs in order to appease its Big Pharma clients and keep those high-profit drugs selling while people are dying.

    The FDA also censors the scientific truth about natural remedies and nutritional supplements that could save millions of lives each year.

    The FDA won't, for example, allow vitamin D supplement companies to tell the truth about how vitamin D prevents cancer or how vitamin D prevents the flu and makes seasonal flu vaccines obsolete.

    The FDA also won't allow any supplement companies to tell the truth about their natural remedies for preventing or even reversing diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer and more.

    So now, let me get this straight.

    With the Food Sa...

    Let's put the government in charge or America's food supply to keep us safe. On the surface, it seems like a reasonable argument: No one should ever die from unsafe food in America, right?

    But to accomplish a net reduction in deaths, you'd need to grant power over the food supply to some organization that actually respects human life... and the FDA is not that organization.

    The FDA has a long and rather dubious history of keeping dangerous, deadly drugs on the market even after it knows those drugs are killing people.

    The FDA has even gone out of its way to ignore critical evidence about dangerous drugs in order to appease its Big Pharma clients and keep those high-profit drugs selling while people are dying.

    The FDA also censors the scientific truth about natural remedies and nutritional supplements that could save millions of lives each year.

    The FDA won't, for example, allow vitamin D supplement companies to tell the truth about how vitamin D prevents cancer or how vitamin D prevents the flu and makes seasonal flu vaccines obsolete.

    The FDA also won't allow any supplement companies to tell the truth about their natural remedies for preventing or even reversing diabetes, heart disease, breast cancer and more.

    So now, let me get this straight.

    With the Food Safety Act we are going to hand over control over the food supply to the most nefarious, corrupt and deadly agency that has ever existed in the history of the United States of America?

    I'm all for food safety, just not the FDA to manage it.
    (more)
  • LilaGra... Scott 2011/06/20 14:55:12 (edited)
  • Orangedragan 2011/06/17 19:22:37
    Orangedragan
    +8
    Idiotic, idiotic, idiotic. All one has to do is look backward a single century to see that the private sector will ALWAYS sacrifice safety and quality to increase their revenue.
  • bigfoot 2011/06/17 19:18:18
    bigfoot
    +4
    I'm all for Defunding Food Safety.Just as long as the Tea Party/Republican Party are required to become the Countries Food Tasters.
  • Idiot repubs 2011/06/17 19:07:22
    Idiot repubs
    +4
    That worked well for my poisoned and deceased pets when Bush underfunded the FDA and agriculture depts and melamine was added to petfood to look like extra protein.
  • bigfoot Idiot r... 2011/06/17 22:00:54
    bigfoot
    +2
    I R what ? that pet food was not really intended for pets.it was supposed to be eaten by the homeless and working poor.the pet food was part of the Republican Healthcare Plan.Bushcare.
  • Wilde~M... Idiot r... 2011/06/18 03:58:25
    Wilde~MoonChild ™
    +2
    no shyt.. .I remember that...
  • gfreeman BN-0 2011/06/17 19:05:45
    gfreeman BN-0
    +5
    Was that Peanut Butter factory 'self-policing' when they found Salmonella in it?
  • Jareth Majere 2011/06/17 19:01:31
    Jareth Majere
    +3
    oh that just leaves me feeling so damn safe & secure

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