In her latest crusade against government “overregulation,” GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann paid a visit to a non-union meat packing plant in Iowa to talk about the evils of health and safety standards in the food industry. Ironically, she did not appear to be wearing a hair net or head covering at the time.
"We want to have safety," she told the press while strolling through slabs of beef. "But we also want to have common sense."
We couldn’t agree more, but we are a little baffled as to what Bachmann’s definition of common sense must be.
UFCW workers have been putting food on America’s tables for decades and we’re proud of the work we do. There is a good chance the beef you ate for dinner last night came from a cow slaughtered by a UFCW member. That’s why we’re not ok with the idea of it being acceptable to serve up tasty meats laced with fecal matter, deadly bacteria, hair, fingers, or any other non-cow, non-pig, non-bird body parts.
Bachmann’s publicity stunt comes a week after the Agriculture Department announced wider testing for E. coli in meat. Instead of testing for one strand of the bacteria, they’ll now be testing for seven, which they say will help officials identify more foodborne illnesses.
*Photo not intended as fact
Is Bachmann honestly arguing that our health and safety standards, the ones we’ve been working so hard on since The Jungle, are a burden on the poor companies forced to make sure the meat they are selling isn’t hazardous to human health?
What about the 3000 people who die each year from foodborne illnesses? Or the 1 in 6 the CDC reports get sick every year?
In Bachmann’s radical libertarian utopia, packing houses must feel called upon to voluntarily test their products out of altruistic love and respect for the consumer. If we are going to live in reality, we need laws and regulations to manage the pressure to put profits over public safety.