In a fact sheet posted online Thursday, the Trump campaign highlighted a number of "specific regulations to be eliminated" under the GOP nominee's economic plan, including what they called the "FDA Food Police," according to The Hill.
“The FDA Food Police, which dictate how the federal government expects farmers to produce fruits and vegetables and even dictates the nutritional content of dog food,” the Trump campaign fact sheet complained. “The rules govern the soil farmers use, farm and food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures and even what animals may roam which fields and when,” the fact sheet continued. “It also greatly increased inspections of food ‘facilities,’ and levies new taxes to pay for this inspection overkill.”
“My plan will embrace the truth that people flourish under a minimum government burden,” Trump said, arguing that slashing protections and regulations would raise the nation’s economic growth rate to at least 3.5 percent.
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Editor's Note: The food industry needs to demand clarification from Trump on these statements. On the surface, they demonstrate a serious lack of understanding about one of the nation’s most important health issues – food safety. These are strange statements from a man whose business holdings include significant foodservice operations and who claims he likes to eat in fast food restaurants because he thinks they have high safety standards.
According to The New York Times, the Trump campaign deleted these statements from its website and revised its press release to remove the comments about food safety. Hopefully, Trump recognized how short sighted the comments were, but this can’t be assumed until he clarifies his position on food safety. As of this writing, there is nothing about food safety on the Trump campaign website.
The food industry has placed a high priority on food safety and has worked with the FDA on improving food safety rules. The new food safety rules are not perfect, but they provide important guidance and they establish a framework by which the FDA works with state agencies to enforce the new rules.
Food safety is a serious issue. The globalization of the food supply chain has created safety gaps. The number of food recalls in the U.S. doubled from 2002 to 2014, according to Swiss Reinsurance Company. The increase in “ready to eat” foods has contributed to increasing food risk since these foods use more ingredients, requiring larger supply chains. The increase in demand for locally sourced food has also created new risks, as demonstrated by Chipotle.
Another news story in today’s newsletter reports that the produce industry is taking action to address Listeria monocytogenes because of increasing safety concerns.
The food industry needs to stay on top of what politicians are saying about food safety and call them to task when necessary. 9-16-16 By Elliot Maras