Folks, it’s with great pleasure that I report more good news from the House of Representatives. I know, it’s hard to imagine the House getting any better, but a few days ago they did something that can only be described as delicious: They stopped the government from getting all mixed up in food safety.
You see, in December, the president signed into law the first significant food safety reforms in over 70 years. But House Republicans are trying to send those laws back to the kitchen (pun!) by cutting the FDA’s implementation budget. That means that while the laws remain on the books, the FDA won’t have the money to execute them. [Check out a roundup of GOP political cartoons.]
Whew. What a huge relief.
I mean, seriously. Who really cares about safe food? I once went three weeks living on marmalade and Big League Chew. And you know what? If you’d inspected me after that, all you’d have found was a Grade “A” American bad boy.
And our food safety system has never, ever broken down. Ok, so a long, long time ago some foods did make Americans sick. But that was way back in 2010 and 2009 and 2007... That’s like 525,000 minutes ago, people. Check my math, but I’m pretty sure I wasn’t even born then. And anyway, the tainted foods were pretty exotic. Eggs and spinach. Some kind of mysterious butter made of peanuts. [See editorial cartoons about healthcare.]
Now, I have heard of a strange land across the sea that’s been struggling with outbreaks of this and that. Mad cow, E.Coli, etc. I guess I could worry about it, but have you been down to the ocean lately? That thing is big. You’d have to be a pretty mad cow to paddle across. (Mad skillz that is.)
Anywho, if that doesn’t convince you, here’s someone who surely will. It’s Rep. Jack Kingston of Georgia. He asks whether any of us truly believe that fine eating establishments like “McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken” or, for that matter, “any brand name that you think of, that these people aren’t concerned about food safety?” Hello! It’s a rhetorical question! If there’s one thing I think of when I think of KFC, it’s healthy food.
And anyway: “The food supply in America is very safe,” says Kingston, “because the private sector self-polices.”
And that’s the key. Why should we spend all this taxpayer money regulating things like food safety or air pollution or Wall Street? Industry does a perfect job of regulating itself and, I’m sorry, but there isn’t a single example in human history when that hasn’t been true.
So, when it comes to uninspected foods, I say “fire up the Hibachi!” It just wouldn’t be summer without the smell of rotting meat.