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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Romney and Ryan on Food Safety? “Pssst, Hey, Mitt, take a bite out of this unregulated burger.”

Well, you never know where Romney is on an issue, but we do know where Congressman Ryan is on Food Safety.

On July 30, 2009, Congressman Ryan voted Nay on HR 2749, Food Safety Regulation Amendments. It passed 283 – 142.

On Dec. 21, 2010, Congressman Ryan voted Nay on HR 2751, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act. It passed 215 – 144.

Well, at least Congressman Ryan is consistently against Food Safety. Perhaps it is a secret plan to become President?  I can hear Ryan now:  “Hey, Mitt, take a bite out of this unregulated burger.”


  • Dog Doctor

    It is unfortunate that Congressman Ryan has spent so much time reading Ayn Rand and not “The Jungle” by Lewis Sinclair to understand what happens to food safety when the industry becomes completely unregulated. Or that he has read the history of food laws, or codes; he would realize that because a few individuals take advantage of the system for their own profit that food purity regulations were some of the first written because a few merchants chose to dilute wine and beer with variety of substances.
    I want to make it clear that I have worked with or been in regulation of the food industry for years, and only a small percentage try to activity break the regulations, most willing comply and understand that it is in their best interest not to make customer sick, and about 10 percent see regulatory actions as a standard they don’t want to fall down to. These are the companies that sell at a premium price and live on their reputations. As with any industry, you have the full spectrum of people and motivations but the reason we have inspectors is the same reason we have police officers that a few people insist on breaking laws and endangering others.
    It is very unfortunate that Mr. Ryan doesn’t understand that simple concept and instead believes in Social Darwinism and the principle of Buyer Be Ware. I hope we don’t return to the numerous outbreaks of 1900’s where a third of the illness were caused by contaminated food and water but in unregulated environment as we have seen in numerous industries, it will be a race to the bottom.

  • LN

    Very true, Dog Doctor. As a food safety inspector on the State level of regulation, I’d like to add another layer to what DD says. Those who want to comply and do what is best often times do not know how to do so very well. The educational part of a regulatory inspection gets them on track. It is an opportunity to teach them what the food safety risks of not complying are. (As an aside, I am well aware of some regulations that do not necessarity contribute to food safety.)

  • Paul F Schwarz

    I agree with Newt Gringrich that the Ryan budget is right wing social engineering. I would hate to think that funding silly food safety regulations would get in the way to give much needed relief to millionaires and billionaires. His vote of NO on the FMSA tells me all that I want to know about Paul Ryan and where his heart is! His budget also tells me all I want to know about Ryan!
    Paul A Schwarz
    December 18, 2011
    Section 51 Row 1 Grave 3 Ft Leavenworth/Leavenworth National Cemetery

  • MsDinoGAl

    Seriously? Just because a fiscal conservative, who believes in small government, votes against an unnecessarily bloated piece of costly legislation, he’s suddenly AGAINST food safety? Don’t any of you think that the marketplace willingly self-regulates against operations that serve tainted and deadly food? Don’t you think that state and local organizations are already doing a great deal to protect food at the service level. And what about the USDA, FDA, Dept of Ag, and so on . . .? All Congressman Ryan said with his vote is, enough.

  • Sam

    Please explain to us why FSMA is “an unnecessarily bloated piece of costly legislation”.
    Face it, the Tea party is over, and Mitt Rmoney is going down in flames. Paul Ryan will drag Rmoney down with him faster than you can say “I want my country back”!

  • Donna Wells lloyd

    As the daughter of someone who succumbed to the self-regulation of food safety I strongly believe business with an eye to the profitability of a company will not self-regulate. The state and local organizations should be involved, but as the safety of all citizens is involved, the Federal agencies need to oversee food safety. All Congressman Ryan said with his vote is let corporations run over the safety of the 99% as long as the Federal government doesn’t have to step up to the plate with funding. I vote NO to Congressman Ryan!

  • Dog Doctoer

    MsDinoGAl haven’t read about all the outbreaks that are reported by Mr. Marler? Mr. Marler would not have a job if “self-regulation” worked. It doesn’t read your history, the market does not regulate anything, it is driven by profit and some people will make that profit by cheating people, it has been going on for thousands of years which is why some of the first laws ever written in the history of man concerned food. That you couldn’t dilute beer and wine or sell contaminated food.
    The history of food laws should prove to everyone that unregulated free market does not work.
    States and Locals do a great job considering how ham strung they have been by right wing idiots that have cut over 80,000 positions from local and state public health organizations but they can not inspect or deal with foreign government where over 20% of food comes from, especially fresh produce comes from in the winter months.
    Successfully food safety comes from consumers, tribal, local, state, and federal government working with private sector to insure safe food practices are encouraged and rewarded while cheaters and fraudulent practices are punished.
    If you want to see where free market isn’t working go to India where over 20% of the milk being sold is either contaminated or not even milk, same thing happened in this country in the 1900’s that is why we have the FDA today.

  • Minkpuppy

    Dog Doctor–couldn’t have said it better myself. We unfortunately need food safety regulations for those stubborn few that refuse to acknowledge their responsibilities or just simply think the rules don’t apply to them. If we weren’t in some of these meat plants everyday, we’d have a hell of a mess. In other plants, we could go away for a month and not worry about the safety of their product because they bust their behinds to make sure everything is right going out the door. But eventually, even those good plants will start to slide without regular monitoring. That seems to be the problem in a lot of FDA recalls.

    For the most part, the meat companies do understand this and do their best to play by the rules. Much of my aggravation lately is the blanket condemnation of the entire food industry over a few that want to break rules. My experience is that they want to do the right thing because their livelihoods and their reputations rely on it.

    LN- You’re dead on about educating the food processors of the risks. Unfortunately, there’s still a few that only get it when you explain to them that they will get sued and lose everything if someone dies from their food. :-(

    Can the rules be improved upon and modified? You bet, there’s a ton that need it, but only as long as it’s done reasonably with solid science behind it rather than emotionally and politically motivated agendas. There’s some laws out there that encourage black market shenanigans, and we need to take a good critical look at why, then fix it rather than getting wrapped up in all the nonsense that’s flying around these days. It’s possible to have regulation and still allow people to sell the foods they want to sell and do it safely.