FDA Rules Won’t Work, Will Harm Small Farmers

The FDA recently decided to delay implementing about $1.4 billion of food safety regulations until after the November election. The USA Today editorial board argues in today’s paper that the FDA should stop dragging its feet and enact them now. They were kind enough to give Greg Conko and me some space to put forth an opposing view. We think the FDA should scrap the rules entirely for two reasons: ineffectiveness and rent-seeking:

These rules, being drafted to implement last year’s food-safety law, will waste billions of dollars on antiquated practices unlikely to do much good. They will, however, aid giant food corporations by hobbling smaller competitors and make it harder for companies of all sizes to adopt innovative safety methods and technologies.

Enacted in response to 2010’s massive egg recall, the law will spend nearly $1 billion to double the number of inspections on farms and in food processing facilities. That may sound appealing, but it only means that most facilities will be inspected every five years instead of every 10. Designated “high-risk” facilities would be inspected just once every three years.

Read the whole thing here.