Michele Bachmann – Not as crazy as you think? Safe Food be Damned!

Well, likely she is. I was in Denver today at the Nation's Restaurant News Food Safety Symposium to give a speech to restaurateurs on how to avoid spending quality time with me after poisoning your customers. Oddly, given the Listeria deaths linked to Colorado cantaloupe increasing (will be pushing 10 in a few days) across the United States, sharing the Conference Center with folks interested in cremation was a bit creepy. In transit to another speech – this time to Phoenix to the Defense Research Institute – a group of lawyers bent on proving that I am more often wrong than right (they must be talking to my wife and kids) – I missed Congress Member Michele Bachmann's latest witticism. According to news reporters spending time with her in a USDA regulated, 140-year-old, family-run meatpacking plant (how fun is that?) in Des Moines, Bachmann took a turn at cutting ribeye steaks in a chilly meat locker as she pushed back against regulations for food makers. As one reporter said: A week after the Agriculture Department announced wider testing for potentially deadly E. coli in meat, Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said Tuesday that regulations were overburdening food producers. Of course, Bachmann is against any regulation – food safety being her flavor of the day. When congress passed a sweeping FDA food safety bill at the end of last year, with strong support from industry, consumer groups and the Obama administration, Bachmann was among those who voted against it. The bill's focus was on large producers and imports, both major culprits in foodborne illness outbreak over the last decades. But, to Bachmann, all regulation is bad. But someone forgot to tell her photo-op, Amend Packing Co. That 140-year-old USDA regulated business has apparently never been cited for food-safety violations. Hmm, I wonder if it has something to do with regulations? Yes, Michele Bachmann is as crazy as she looks.

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