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Could a Single Food-Safety Agency be the Answer?

If a new federal food-safety agency would help eliminate inefficiencies, it might earn widespread support.

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This week, with little fanfare, the Obama administration released a proposed 2016 budget that would dramatically remake the FDA and USDA. The plan would strip each agency of its extensive food-safety oversight responsibilities and hand them over to a new food-safety agency, to be housed within the Department of Health and Human Services.

The plan would be a big loss for the FDA—an agency within HHS—which saw its food-safety budget and staff increase thanks to passage of the Food Safety Modernization Act in 2011. It was likely no coincidence that Margaret Hamburg, who has served as FDA commissioner for the past six years, announced this week that she was leaving the agency.

At the cabinet level, the proposal can be seen as mixed bag. It's a big win for HHS, where the new agency would reside. But HHS's gains mean the USDA would likely lose all of its food-safety budget and staff.

It's unclear at this point if the proposal has legs. I expect much will ride on two factors. First, will big players within the regulated industries support the measure? Second, will the Obama administration pitch the idea to the GOP-dominated Congress as a cost-cutting measure or, alternately, as a take-it-or-leave-it regulatory buildup?

The answer to all these questions remains to be seen. "[T]he devil is in the details," wrote Marion Nestle, who commonly supports increased food-safety regulations, of the Obama administration's proposal.

While I disagree with Nestle about the manifest need for more regulations—which often cost hundreds of millions of dollars but make our food no safer—I do agree with her call to wait for more details. I said as much during an appearance on HuffPost Live this week.

While we wait, there are several factors to consider that will help to determine whether creating a single food-safety agency would benefit the ones who matter: consumers and taxpayers.

One key issue is the problems caused by current regulatory overlap. No case better illustrates this overlap—and the serious food-safety issues it raises—than the 2010 recall of more than 300 million eggs.

While the FDA regulates eggs in the shell—like the kind you purchase by the dozen—the USDA is in charge of grading the eggs. As I wrote in recounting the egg recall in a 2012 law-review article, this overlap meant that the USDA's egg graders, who were on site at the offending egg-laying facility and saw its filthy conditions firsthand, ignored their key food-safety responsibilities because they saw the safety of the eggs as the FDA's problem. (The FDA might inspect such facilities once every few years.)

"Yet the presence of these egg graders at the laying facility did nothing to ensure the eggs were safe—in spite of the graders' duty," I wrote in the article. "The egg graders' presence and oversight merely offered a false veneer of safety—a facade that made food less safe."

A related problem is the differing standards imposed by USDA and FDA regulations on similar products. The egg case illustrates but one example. Frozen cheese pizzas sold at your local grocer are regulated by the FDA, for example, while the same manufacturer's frozen pepperoni pizzas are regulated by the USDA. The USDA requires all food labels to be pre-approved by the agency before the food may be marketed and sold. On the other hand, the FDA has no such requirement. That means if you were to put one piece of pepperoni on an FDA-regulated frozen cheese pizza, it would be subject both to label pre-approval requirements and USDA regulations.

Another key issue is the same that arose during the FDA's FSMA rulemaking process. Simply put, the FDA crafted inane and costly rules for regulating agricultural producers that demonstrated—charitably—how little agricultural expertise the agency possesses. There's no reason to believe that the FDA's parent department, HHS, possesses such expertise, either.

Who would lead this new food-safety agency within HHS? Noted food-safety litigator Bill Marler nominated himself for the job. Agricultural and restaurant interests might chafe at the idea of Marler, who has won civil suits against them for food-safety violations. Other food producers, such as grocery food makers, would no doubt balk at other potential choices for the job.

What would the removal of food-safety oversight from the FDA mean for the agency's ban on the interstate shipment of raw milk? Recall that the ban came into being in the late 1980s thanks to a court decision that is based solely on FDA data. Could a new challenge to the ban argue that since the FDA no longer plays a role in food safety, there is no longer a legal basis for the ban?

Calls for some unitary food authority are nothing new. Nestle notes food-safety advocates have urged the federal government to consolidate its food-safety authority for decades. Other big ideas for big new government action have also appeared from time to time.

In 2008, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof urged the Obama administration to scrap the USDA and FDA altogether, in favor of a "Department of Food." More recently, fellow Times food columnists Mark Bittman and Michael Pollan called for the creation of a national food policy. (Interestingly, neither piece focuses on food safety.)

If a new federal food-safety agency would help eliminate redundancies in staffing and inefficiencies in budgeting while establishing simpler, uniform requirements, then the new agency might earn—and even deserve—widespread support. But if such an agency would not save consumers and taxpayers money, wouldn't make our food safer, would put those with little expertise in charge of key regulations, and would double down on existing FDA and HHS campaigns targeting everything from caffeine to soda to trans fats and salt, then this proposal is rightly dead in the water.

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123 responses to “Could a Single Food-Safety Agency be the Answer?

  1. Well, seeing how “consolidation” worked so well for the Dept of Homeland Security, I think we can all agree that creating a new agency for food safety is a step in the right direction.

    Related: the cupboard is bare — there is nothing left to cut:

    A Washington Examiner review of the department’s premium travel expense reports, which were obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, has revealed that “HHS executives spent $31 million taking 7,000 first class and business class flights between 2009 and 2013, including 253 trips for which a one-way ticket cost more than $15,000.”

    http://www.thenewamerican.com/…..ss-flights

    1. 7,000 first class and business class flights

      fuck you

      1. They are doung important work that the private sector just isn’t capable of handling or doesn’t see enough profit to bother with. So you expect them to fly coach?!?!

    2. “for which a one-way ticket cost more than $15,000”

      How does that happen? Do airlines have a special pricing schedule for bloated government bureaucracies?

    3. I will not have you jetting off to Whore Island!

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  3. If a new federal food-safety agency would help eliminate redundancies in staffing and inefficiencies in budgeting while establishing simpler, uniform requirements

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    *wipes tear from eye*

    Baylen, you slay me.

  4. All government agencies should be consolidated into one agency which should then be eliminated.

    1. One agency to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.

  5. No, fuck you , cut spending.

    1. In theory, consolidation could help do that but we are talking about the feds here.

      1. I have an idea. Let’s consolidate a whole bunch of security functions into one agency instead of spreading them around. We could call it, I dunno, maybe “Department of Homeland Security.”

        Ought to be a major improvement.

        1. Dept of Foodland Security.

    2. Yes, there is an argument for massive elimination of functions – particularly related to USDA’s more “politicized” activities.

      If the objective is widespread banning of ingredients, products, and processes to appease the Whole Foods crowd (supported by the NY Times columnists named), then by all means let them eat Kale.

    3. And how do you get them to do that?

  6. So I have occasionally watched these restaurant makeover shows where a chef goes in to save a failing business. There are several different shows like this probably Gordon Ramsey’s being the most well known. Anyways, many of these shows contain scenes where the chef inspects the kitchen and finds these disgusting conditions. Science experiments growi g everywhere, nothing clean, food stored and prepared under conditions known to be big food safety rule violations. Most of this are in decent size cities. I know these states and cities have have health departments and inspectors. So what do these people actually do? Beceause most of these places had been around for years and these conditions didn’t manifest overnight.

    1. My wife watches those shows. The owners seem to fall into two categories; people who are well meaning and just in over their heads and have no idea how to run a restaurant, or people who know but are too lazy and bull headed to do it properly. You can always tell the first type because even though their food sucks their kitchen is clean. The second type always has the filthy kitchen. The cleanliness of the kitchen reveals the character of the owner. I don’t know the first thing about how to run a restaurant or be a chef. If I ran one, it would most likely suck. I can guarantee, however, it would have a clean kitchen. Anyone can clean. Restaurants have dirty kitchens because the owners are lazy.

      1. Honestly John I think you would do well at being a cook, or restaurant owner. Just by judging your observations.

        I am what you would call a “Chef”. I’ll tell you this. Every single messy kitchen I have ever worked in, and cleaned up was a result of disorganization. You need to hire people who are somewhat consistant, and have an organized work flow.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mise_en_place

        1. Thank you. I find those shows oddly compelling. It always amazes me how people don’t think methodically or consider the effects of their actions.

          The one thing almost all the restaurants on those shows have in common is their menu is too large. Since their menu is too large they never get good at any individual dish and they never move enough of any one product to keep the supply fresh. The first thing the professional chef does is simplify the menu to a few dishes the place can do well and that will move enough product to keep the ingredients fresh.

          The other thing is like you say, they never have any kind of system in the kitchen. Whether it is a law office or a kitchen, any time you have an organization that does work that is continuously coming in, you have to have a system. Once you fall behind, you never catch up because there is always another customer giving you new work. People never seem to get that.

          Damn threaded comments

          1. Yeah, it wasn’t the link at all…

          2. I like those shows too and it’s interesting to see the patterns of bad business practices emerge. However, I wonder if many of the restaurant owners don’t slip back into bad habits when the TV crew leaves

            1. At this point I should ask Cracked for some money for all the links I’ve posted but it does answer your question.

              Oddly enough, restaurateurs who are terrible at running a business don’t suddenly become J.D. Rockefeller just because a Scottish man shouts at them and gives them a new menu their cooks can’t even read. In actuality, only about a third of the restaurants Ramsay “rescues” actually manage to stay open once he leaves them in a haze of scowls and belittlement, and the number drops as time goes on. For instance, in the first two seasons of the show (2007 to 2009), Ramsay rescued 21 restaurants. Only two are still open.

              Read more: http://www.cracked.com/article…..z3R4cA0YKm

              1. Interesting, but not surprising. This caught my eye:

                For comparison, about 40 percent of new restaurants are able to stay in business after three years, so starting a new place from scratch would give you better odds than a Kitchen Nightmares visit.

                Anyone know how this compares to start-ups in general?

                1. Good point. The restaurant biz is inherently highly speculative. Enormous churn, and not just in start-ups.

        2. Amy’s Baking Company. Must-see TV.

          1. An hour, and that expression of horrified glee never left my face.

          2. Thanks for that, Old Man. I like Kitchen Nightmares, but I don’t watch often because I don’t usually watch reality TV. I’m now sorry I missed it in real time.

      2. Yeah, my first jobs as a young man were as a line cook, mainly chains. When you are nit cooking you are cleaning. You probably spend more time actually cleaning than cooking if you are doing it right. Thats all management. If the front of the house isn’t well run you can probably imagine what the kitchen looks like.

        1. Clean as you go.

          / What I learned thirty years ago in the kitchen at McD’s.

    2. In my fifteen years of working in restaurants, I’ve only been there for one inspection.

      They don’t just randomly inspect kitchens. They respond to reports. So if no one complains, there are no inspections.

      Remember that inspectors are government employees. They do as little as possible, and nothing proactive. Only reactive.

      1. So if you poison them, you’re off better killing them?

      2. Even if they worked hard, they couldn’t inspect every restaurant all of the time. So they just concentrate on the ones they think will most likely be a problem.

        And the other day you apologized for driving a Suburu. I didn’t notice it until the thread was dead. So I couldn’t tell you you shouldn’t.

        Even though their ads are awful Suburus are great cars. Utility has its own beauty. Suburus are fabulous at serving the purpose for which they were made.

        The cars that people should be embarrassed to own are cars that claim to be one thing but are not; luxury sedans with sport suspensions that rattle your teeth, pickups with giant cabs and beds that couldn’t hall anything, Prius that claim to be efficient and good for the environment actually are neither.

        1. I wasn’t apologizing. I think they’re great cars, or I wouldn’t own two of them. I’m just sick of the stereotypes. Oh, you drive a Subaru so you must vote Obama and shop at Whole Foods. No. Fuck you. I like reliable cars and AWD kicks ass in places with shitty winters. Nor am I embarrassed about it. Nothing to be embarrassed about when you’re driving past someone stuck in a snow bank.

          1. Hey, I drive a Subaru, and have never voted for a Democrat in my life. On the other hand, I DO shop at Whole Foods from time to time; they have good cheese amd great bread. Not interested in much else they carry.

            I liked the (British) Top Gear episode in which James May reviewed the Subaru Outback Wagon. Evidently, in Britain, that’s an Old Money car; favored by the kind of family that has money in part because they buy things that last.

            1. …”Evidently, in Britain, that’s an Old Money car; favored by the kind of family that has money in part because they buy things that last.”

              That’d leave out any Brit car…

      3. NJ was inspection-intensive – primarily as a means to extort exorbitant fees.

    3. So what do these people actually do?

      I know a couple who started a coffeehouse, and according to them, the answer is “take bribes.”

      1. Worked in a tiny pizza place years ago as one of my first jobs. The health inspector came in long enough to collect an envelope of cash.

        When I made the pizza sauce, I added all the ingredients and then stirred it with my bare hand and arm. Not a spoon or spatula. My arm. This was so I could squeeze all the chunks of Parmesan cheese into small bits.

        Rest of the kitchen was pretty dirty. I got yelled at often for washing my hands constantly, thus slacking off from work. Worked there one year, never got a food poisoning complaint.

        1. These things are freaky. I knew a Chinese restaurant near me started by someone who’d already been a successful restaurateur, Mr. Quan, friend of my father’s. After many years’ operation, they had a case of hepatitis in a customer or two, traced to someone on staff. No way they could stay in biz after that, so it was sold.

        2. “When I made the pizza sauce, I added all the ingredients and then stirred it with my bare hand and arm. Not a spoon or spatula. My arm. This was so I could squeeze all the chunks of Parmesan cheese into small bits.”

          Sounds like you worked in a shit show. I’m sorry you had to experience that.
          I would have had you take a portion of the sauce out into a separte pot, blend in the parm, and then add it back into the larger pot. This would not only have saved you some time, but also you would not have to go balls deep in the tomatoe sauce.

    4. Those departments claim they are understaffed and overworked. So they (typically) do cursory inspections and only occasionally hammer on the most egregious of and easy to identify violations. Of course, when you put governmwnt employees out on their own “in the field” who knows how the time is actually spent.

    5. I’m a sous chef, and I’m convinced the health departments are buyable.

      Example: I was (ever so briefly) kitchen manager of a locally “famous” pub. The owner was an absolute psychotic. The place was filthy. Equipment hadn’t been cleaned for months. Fryer oil hadn’t been changed for months. My first day, I couldn’t find sanitizer so I started making some and setting out the buckets. The other employees didn’t know what sanitizer was/I. Employees were fond of trading phone pics of dead and live wildlife found in the kitchen. Fricking photos.

      Health department inspected and passed the pub with flying colors.

      1. Code fail. Oops.

  7. I’m not sure what exactly food safety agencies can do that that consumers and civil lawsuits can’t? In fact, without the illusion that governments are ensuring safe food (which they don’t) there may be more diligence on the part of the consumer would have a much greater impact anyways. Can I see your kitchen? No? Ok bye, I’ll note that on yelp when I get home.

  8. Maybe I am wrong, but I am pretty sure selling poisoned food is a pretty bad business model. Given that, I fail to see why we need any food safety agency let alone one giant one.

    1. That’s just loonytarian silly talk. People are too stupid to figure out not to buy food that has been known to poison others, so they need a government elected by themselves to protect themselves from themselves.

  9. Saturday Morning pearl clutching:

    What Does the ‘Sports Illustrated’ Cover Teach Our Kids?

    Hannah Davis’ risqu? Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue cover is a “dream come true” for her. But for the parents who now have to explain to their kids why the pretty lady is nearly taking off her bathing suit on a magazine ? when some of those kids only recently learned to keep their clothes on at the playground ? it’s a bit of a nightmare.

    1. My parents bought me a subscription to SI when I was nine and ten. It was back when people still actually read print magazines. They were always really annoyed by the swimsuit issue because they didn’t like it that the sports magazine they bought for their nine year old son turned into what, by their 50s morality, was a girly magazine once a year.

      Today we have 20 something “liberated, feminist women” journalists who seem to have the same moral sensibilities about sex with regards to all of us that my raised in the 50s parents had about their nine year old son.

      Isn’t modern feminism fun?

      1. Thank you. I find those shows oddly compelling. It always amazes me how people don’t think methodically or consider the effects of their actions.

        The one thing almost all the restaurants on those shows have in common is their menu is too large. Since their menu is too large they never get good at any individual dish and they never move enough of any one product to keep the supply fresh. The first thing the professional chef does is simplify the menu to a few dishes the place can do well and that will move enough product to keep the ingredients fresh.

        The other thing is like you say, they never have any kind of system in the kitchen. Whether it is a law office or a kitchen, any time you have an organization that does work that is continuously coming in, you have to have a system. Once you fall behind, you never catch up because there is always another customer giving you new work. People never seem to get that.

      2. I think most parents know about the SI swimsuit issue by now and probably don’t get the subscription for their preteen son. If some parents do know about it and buy it for him anyway, are they really going to care if her bikini bottom is several inches lower than normal?

        1. No. And it is not like they can’t find it online. And even my parents, while annoyed, were just that, annoyed. They didn’t ban the magazine from the house or start a campaign demanding the issue no longer be published.

          Regardless, it is just remarkable that a twenty something woman in 2014 who no doubt thinks of herself as liberated and free thinking could be more puritanical about this than even morally conservative parents.

    2. “What Does the ‘Sports Illustrated’ Cover Teach Our Kids?”

      Boobs are cool?

    3. The annual issue sparked controversy as soon as it was revealed on Wednesday, as it shows the 24-year-old model from the U.S. Virgin Islands sliding down a teeny bikini while standing, inexplicably, in the middle of a farm

      Ummmm….. If you noticed the farm, I have some news for you.

      1. Ha, I saw that too and had to go back and look behind her to see the fence.

    4. I’m not clicking as I am trying very hard not to reward full on retard with page view revenue. The puritanism is astounding though isn’t it. Most people like this have no problem with their kids seeing some form of violence but a woman’s body? That is an affront to God!

      1. I thought women were supposed to love their bodies and nudity was no big deal? When did the feminist collective revoke that edict?

        It is amazing how puritanical they are. When the whole frappening thing happened they were saying Jennifer Lawrence and the others were the same as rape victims, because seeing a woman naked is apparently a mortal sin on a par with rape.

        1. I’m seeing similar memes about the 50 Shades movie. The woman is the victim because evidently woman are too stupid to know what’s best for them. Any sexual pleasure they seek with a man must be a result of them being “tricked” into it. What these so called feminist think about other women is about as misogynistic as you can get.

          1. The enormous popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey shows what a lie the entire modern feminist movement is. Millions of women devoured an unbelievably bad and poorly written soft core porn book because it was the only mass entertainment that unapologeticly gave them what they wanted.

            The fact is that the vast majority of women for whatever reason like men and masculinity. They don’t want the sensitive feminism friendly man. They want men who are the absolute opposite of that. And they don’t want feminist approved gender role free sex. The want real sex where men actually take charge of them. Feminists, secretly probably do as well. Since they have built their entire ideology around women not wanting that and it being enforced on them by evil men, the popularity of the book is devastating to them.

            1. Which is why Dagney Taggert is such a good role model for young women.

              1. They could do a lot worse than Dagny Taggart, that’s for sure.

                One of the main proofs for me that feminism is a lot more about Marxism than it is about women is their treatment of Atlas Shrugged and specifically Dagny.

                It’s a great novel, written by a woman, in which a woman is the protagonist, and in which said woman is the intelligent, competent, successful, savvy head of a major corporation. A woman who constantly prevents the ruin of the family business by her idiot brother. A woman who is one of the three or four smartest and most moral characters in a novel with scores of them.

                It would be one of the top books in a true feminist canon. But because it’s unapologetic in its anti-socialism they hate it.

        2. I thought women were supposed to love their bodies and nudity was no big deal? When did the feminist collective revoke that edict?

          When they realized that rapey men would be looking at their bodies.

        3. “Fappening” not “frappening” THe latter would take place at a Starbucks while the former would hopefully not.

          1. I would be pretty happy if Jennifer Lawrence randomly showed up naked when I was at Starbucks.

      2. I did however google image Hannah Davis SI cover. I don’t have adequate words.

        1. It’s tough, she is dating Derek Jeter, which makes me want to hate her.

          1. Yes, that might do it if she were less hot but her hotness overcomes even that fact.

          2. You shouldn’t let your choice of which laundry to root for during the baseball season prevent you from standing in awe of Derek Jeter’s off the field accomplishments.

            Consider the single fact that he dumped Minka Kelly because he knew he could do better. Think about that for a moment.

            1. Consider the single fact that he dumped Minka Kelly because he knew he could do better. Think about that for a moment.

              *Puts head down on desk, sobs uncontrollably*

            2. Derek Jeter’s off the field accomplishments.

              Well played.

              I remember having a long discussion on Reddit with this guy who was calling Jeter a terrible person because he always sends the girls he randomly bangs home in a limo, with a gift basket.

              In this poor soul’s imagining, there are no single women in NYC eager to have sweaty random monkey sex with the greatest Yankee of the last 20 years.

    5. when some of those kids only recently learned to keep their clothes on at the playground

      say what?

      1. I’ve been working hard on this issue.

    6. The stupid thing about fauxtrage over the SI Swimsuit Issue is this. Let’s say dad gets the message and cancels his subscription. Let’s say in the spirit of the moment he gets mom to cancel her subscription to Shape or Women’s Health – we won’t have any sexually appealing images in the house.

      Is there any chance Junior is going to avoid seeing women’s exposed midriffs and breasts in tight shirts and butts in yoga pants once he leaves the house? There are undoubtedly many women who self-identify as feminist who condemn the SI Swimsuit issue and, without a trace of self-awareness, run their daily errands in a pair of leggings.

      You know what would be great? If we keep all those female contours out of sight. Just have women cover up in bulky robes when they leave the house. Can you imagine what a great society we’d have then?

    7. From the article:

      It could also be worth pointing out that SI cover girl Davis is a former Caribbean National Tennis Team champ, and was valedictorian of her high school class.

      A) So a HS valedictorian wasn’t smart enough to avoid the tentacles of the patriarchy, then?
      B) You couldn’t feature Hannah Davis in a magazine of your own if she was so accomplished? You had to wait to react to someone else doing so?
      C) If we’re worried about the self-esteem of young girls, it’s probably better to avoid mentioning that she’s an athlete and a scholar. If you point out that she’s not only smoking hot, but that she’s smarter and better at sports than any random girl reading that, the girl in question will feel even worse about herself.

      1. A) So a HS valedictorian wasn’t smart enough to avoid the tentacles of the patriarchy, then?

        I’m not saying she’s dumb, but being the valedictorian of your HS doesn’t necessarily make you smart.

        1. I agree, but the writer of the article pointed out that one could instead mention Davis’ academic and athletic achievements, and presumably meant to imply that she was smart.

    8. Christ, somebody take that girl home and feed her up a little. It’s like my pet hate of the checkout line magazines. It’s called SHAPE, amd the cover girls never seem to have one. This chick hasn’t got any HIPS.

  10. Under HHS? Why?

    It seems to me that the likely reason is to try to push “healthier” food under the guise of “Food Safety”. HHS also being the department overseeing ObamaCare. So there is really an expansion of scope hidden in this move. The new food safety agency will very rapidly start pushing regulations not only to make sure food is “safe” but also make sure it is “healthy”, according to whatever standards are in vogue.

    This may very well also mean an opening for the various food fetishes of progressives to be enacted into policy. It may be that the anti-GMOers can’t get their food labeling laws past the more science-oriented FDA, but the HHS could be more amenable. Same with the fetishes about high fructose corn syrup, organics, and so on.

    That is my personal suspicion. We know Michelle is totally a fetishist for organics and whole grains, so it wouldn’t surprise me if this move was really an attempt by the administration to move food safety law to an agency they have more political control over.

    1. Food safety is an agriculture issue. It belongs with the FDA if anywhere. I went to a university with a giant agriculture department. Most of the students in it were not studying how to be farmers. They were studying to go on and work for companies like Tyson chicken or other big food companies. They had majors like “meat science” and learned how you properly and safely run a meat packing plant or canned vegetable factory.

      HHS has nothing to do with any of that. HHS concerns itself with health care not food. They have no institutional knowledge of food safety. This is like taking marine safety away from the Coast Guard and giving it to the Commerce department since boats are a part of and used in commerce.

      The Obama Administration is epically incompetent. They don’t even understand how the government works, even though they claim it can be the solution to every problem.

    2. Progressives love GMOs. That is why Obama has stacked FDA and USDA with Monsanto execs.

    3. Correct, FDA is historically more technical and relatively non-activist. The NYT reporters BL references in his articles are certainly part of the Whole Foods crowd. Likely the entire GRAS list, plus 100+ years of technical knowledge/information would be tossed out in-favor of laws which align with a progressive world view.

    4. Hazel FTW.

  11. I often give reason a hard time about its love of Mexicans. It is of course not serious and me being a smart ass. Reason supports open borders for reasons that have nothing to do with any affection towards Mexicans or anyone else. I think their thinking is naive but it is most certainly not because they love Mexicans. Jeb Bush in contrast seems to support immigrants because he likes Mexicans and doesn’t really have much use for Americans. David Frum of all people has written a column illustrating just what a crap weasel Bush is. Get this

    Jeb Bush’s enthusiasm for immigration, even when the immigrants are unskilled, even if they break the law, goes so deep that he even sometimes ventures to suggest that the personal characteristics of immigrants are to be preferred over those of the native-born. Here for example is an informal Jeb Bush speaking to a friendly interviewer, National Review’s Jay Nordlinger, early in 2014. “If we’re going to grow at 4% a year, we have to have young, aspiring people be able to create dynamic activity. And we can’t do that with our existing demographics.”

    1. I think that Bush remark is about age more than ethnicity, he’s saying we are too old and need an infusion of a group skewed younger

      1. First, age isn’t as important as it used to be. People can work longer. Second, the more appalling comment is below. I just couldn’t get it all in within the Reason character limit.

        Moreover, even if you buy into his reasoning, Bush still doesn’t support open borders because of any commitment to freedom. So his support of such doesn’t give any assurance that he will support freedom in other contexts.

        Lastly, the US birth rate is right around replacement. We are not Europe or Japan. We have plenty of young people. Jeb Bush just thinks they are inferior to the ones in the rest of the world. Jeb just doesn’t have much use for native born Americans. I guess we should be grateful he is willing to lower himself to be our President.

        1. You can see from the added excerpt it’s about ‘rebuilding the demographic pyramid’, having a larger proportion of the society be younger.

    2. From a speech he gave in 2013

      Immigrants create far more businesses than native-born Americans over the last 20 years. Immigrants are more fertile, and they have more intact families. They bring a younger population. The one way that we can rebuild the demographic pyramid is to fix a broken immigration system to allow for people to come, to learn English, to play by our rules, to embrace our values, and to pursue their dreams in our country with a vengeance?to create more opportunities for all of us. This is a conservative idea. If we do this, we will rebuild our country in a way that will allow us to grow. If we don’t do it, we will be in decline?because the productivity of this country is dependent on young people that are able to work hard.

      http://www.theatlantic.com/pol…..ma/385168/

      Sometimes you can support the right thing for such a bad reason that it still reflects poorly on you. This is one of those times. Bush doesn’t support open borders out of any commitment to freedom. He supports them because he doesn’t like Americans and think the country would be better if they were replaced by Lain Americans. Fuck him. If the President doesn’t like Americans, who will? He has no business anywhere near power in this country let alone the Presidency.

      1. He’s basically an anti-American bigot, a dumb one too.

      2. Bush doesn’t support open borders out of any commitment to freedom. He supports them because he doesn’t like Americans and think the country would be better if they were replaced by Lain Americans. Fuck him. If the President doesn’t like Americans, who will?

        Spoken like a true progressive and nationalist: “I deserve to get stuff just because I’m here. Give me stuff!”

  12. “If a new federal food-safety agency would help eliminate redundancies in staffing and inefficiencies in budgeting while establishing simpler, uniform requirements, then the new agency might earn?and even deserve?widespread support. ”

    Sadly the opposite, if it really did those things it would get withering attacks from government workers, big corporations who like how regs insulate them from competition, etc

  13. Honestly I don’t have a lot of faith in HHS’s ability to run anything. I would not trust those fuckers with a slotted spoon.

  14. FOOD FIGHT CZAR!!

  15. I guess I had better tie my pig down, so it doesn’t fly away.

  16. I suggest we close the existing bureaucracies down and open a brand new one under the name of Underwriters Laboratories.
    Paid for by those who want their products tested and passed by a trusted name.

  17. Today, on Melissa Harris Racetroller: “Transit and Inequality”

    ROADZ are racist.

    1. You put desirable transportation options somewhere, housing prices go up, wealthier people move in.

      And Prof. Cobb takes the cake: first it was a bad thing when whites fled to the suburbs. Now it’s a bad thing that whites return to the cities and blacks are fleeing to the suburbs.

  18. Here comes the Broccoli Mandate…

    …and a lot sooner than I expected.

    1. Not if Bush gets elected.

  19. La Racetroller says, “The Supreme Court forced Montgomery’s bus company to integrate their buses.”

    That can’t be right. That’s not what they do. Now, if the SC invalidated a law or municipal ordinance expressly compelling the bus company to segregate its customers, that would make sense. But that’s not the preferred narrative.

    1. But the water’s an inch deep!!!

      1. So, tiny, mutant human bodies. Must be due to chemical spills. Extra scary!

    2. Oh, come on, you already know that truthiness is all that matters.

  20. Line cook is the only way I’ve ever made money and in twelve years I’ve seen exactly one health inspection

  21. Sutprise! Guest says, “NEEDZ NOAR CENTRAL PLANNINGZES!!!!”

    Secty of Transportation agrees.

    WHY CAN’T WE JUST NATIONALIZE EVERYTHING, SO AMERICA CAN FINALLY HAVE THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK IT DESERVES?

    Fucking private ownership ruins everything. We must build the People’s Paradise on the bleached bones of the robber barons!

    1. WHY CAN’T WE JUST NATIONALIZE EVERYTHING, SO AMERICA CAN FINALLY HAVE THE TRANSPORTATION NETWORK IT DESERVES?

      I think people stupid enough to vote for that do deserve what they get. If we decided and paid for this on a state-by-state basis, I’d be happy to see California destroy itself with “high speed rail”.

      Unfortunately, what “America’s transportation network” really means is a bunch of overpriced infrastructure that make life a bit more convenient for the West and East Coast elites (Boston, NYC, SF, DC, LA).

  22. The Racetroller brigade are talking Rand Paul.

    How dare he be in favor of broadly based sentencing reform and yet oppose a black female nominee for atty genl?
    ERROR! ERROR! ANALYZE. ANALYYYYYZE!

    And he shushed that nice white girl from CNBC!

    What a fucking monster.

  23. FDA and USDA already have these tasks. While studying food safety (on my own – look up HAACCPP) I recall seeing that one agency was responsible for frozen pizza but if the pizza had a meat topping then it became the responsibility of the other one.

    As long as the new agency points gun at folks that sell or purchase raw milk then I’m on board. /sarc

    1. “I recall seeing that one agency was responsible for frozen pizza but if the pizza had a meat topping then it became the responsibility of the other one.”

      Now THERE’S a recipe for clear lines of responsibility!
      I knew we could rely on the government.

  24. How to fire everyone without actually firing them. Cut their funding and make a new department with hand selected lackeys.

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  26. Baylen Linnekin: Could a Single Food-Safety Agency be the Answer?
    If a new federal food-safety agency would help eliminate inefficiencies, it might earn widespread support.

    Seriously?

    When has a monolithic government agency aver provided better, more efficient service? DMV? IRS? DHS? TSA? Bueller?

    Even the damn military is broken up into services to capitalize on core competencies and competition between providers.

    The best we can hope for is a hodgepodge of agencies duplicating each others responsibilities while viciously fighting over power and budget, neutering any of their attempts to ‘help’ people.

  27. In the glossary of phrases that should chill you to the bone, “efficient government” ranks high.

  28. I think a better thing to do is to disarm the FDA first and strip it of its police powers.

    https://reason.com/blog/2012/05…..the-fdas-i

    Next steps: make the FDA liable when it screws up and privatize it.

  29. Google pay 97$ per hour my last pay check was $8500 working 1o hours a week online. My younger brother friend has been averaging 12k for months now and he works about 22 hours a week. I cant believe how easy it was once I tried it out.
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  30. Great idea. In fact, the Natural Solutions Foundation proposed it to members of relevant committees in Congress several years ago with the following proviso:
    When such an agency is created, it must be free of the control of, and ties to, the industries regulated that corrupt and damage our society in the FDA/EPA/USDA, etc.
    How to accomplish that? Simple. Pass legislation that makes it a crime for anyone involved in the regulatory structure to have ANY ties to the regulated industries with violations leading to prison time and forfeiture of personal assets.
    Set up a watchdog IG agency with no ties to the agency being watched and reward IG inspectors for successful prosecutions with a share of the for fitted assets.
    Harsh? Draconian? You bet. Safety = lives and we need some rigor and structured rooting-out of the deep and deadly corruption that kills us through the corporate bias and conflict of interest as business as usual agencies.
    Yours in health and freedom,
    Dr. Rima
    Rima E. Laibow, MD
    Medical Director
    Natural Solutions Foundation
    http://www.DrRimaTruthReports.com
    @DrRimaLaibow

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