Congress shouldn't weaken food safety laws

  • Article by: Editorial Board , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 27, 2013 - 7:17 PM

Preventing outbreaks is good policy. Some in Congress disagree.

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jd55604Jun. 27, 13 9:14 PM

Our food is safe in spite of the federal government not because of it. There's a lot more profits to be had by providing customers with safe food than by poisoning them.

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milkman53Jun. 28, 13 4:46 AM

Our food is Mostly Safe because of the education, experience and personal integrity of the people who produce it. But not all people have the personal integrity to put food safety over profit. (Early in my career I was one of those.)

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gcrcrJun. 28, 13 6:09 AM

jd55604 Jun. 27, 13 9:14 PM Our food is safe in spite of the federal government not because of it. There's a lot more profits to be had by providing customers with safe food than by poisoning them. == Really, food safety is an expense to business and they would drop it in a heartbeat for higher profits.

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wa0tdaJun. 28, 13 6:54 AM

"There's a lot more profits to be had by providing customers with safe food than by poisoning them." That is true for rational people, but business is notoriously short-sighted and focused on immediate rewards to be had by cutting corners and shipping defective product, assuming that either no one will get sick or those who do will not connect the illness to their product.

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patasticJun. 28, 13 9:18 AM

"Ultimately, Almer said, medical care costs and the lawsuits spawned by outbreaks get passed along to everyone through higher insurance premiums."---I find that impossible to believe. In a country where spilling hot coffee on yourself results in a multi-million dollar settlements, a health insurance provider is just going to pay the costs of caring for a person inured through someone else's negligence? I'd think they would consider hiring a lawyer to shift the burden to the responsible party.

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jd55604Jun. 28, 1310:28 AM

So making people sick is more profitable than producing a healthy or at least non-life threatening food product? Our society is so litigious now with corporate lawsuits so prevelent that spending tens of billions of dollars doubling the number of inspectors would be inneffective resulting long delays at the border, increased retail costs and higher taxes.

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milkman53Jun. 28, 1311:01 AM

jd--it only is expensive if you get caught. Now if you can shrink the size of the health department/testers/inspectors enough no one will ever get caught. It takes time and money to track an outbreak of food caused illness.

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davehougJun. 28, 1311:47 AM

Responsible food companies WANT a level playing field where their competition HAS to produce food without safety shortcuts.

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elind56Jun. 28, 1312:21 PM

The food supply is, like, 99.99% safe as it is and the law of diminishing returns dictates that an added, but negligible and probably unmeasurable, .001% gain in safety will be extremely expensive.

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buttlesJun. 28, 1312:56 PM

"There's a lot more profits to be had by providing customers with safe food than by poisoning them." == Yet people die from eating contaminated food. If Republicans had their way not only would they do away with all food (and drug) safety laws, they'd make it illegal to sue the manufacturers. They won't be happy until we go back to the days of "The Jungle".

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