Some Businesses Support Regulation

Our country’s system of safeguards is good for American business as well as for the public’s health and the environment. You would never know this, however, from reading the news out of Washington, which is dominated by reports on the antipathy to regulation of the business lobby and its Republican allies in Congress. 

I was reminded of the more complex views of business toward regulation the other day when I dug up news reports on the salmonella outbreak in peanut products a little less than two years ago.  Nine people died and hundreds were sickened in the outbreak that was traced to contamination at a facility in Georgiao of the Peanut Corporation of America.  

In his testimony before Congress, David Mackay, then President of the Kellogg Company, reported that the company recalled seven million cases of Keebler cookies and other peanut-based products, and revamped its internal controls. 

He also asked the Federal government to play a greater role in food safety inspection.  He urged Congress to establish a single agency with responsibility for food safety, to undertake annual inspections of food processing plants that were particularly vulnerable to disease outbreaks, and to enact into law federal  authority to recall food products directly (instead of relying on voluntary compliance).   In short, he asked the federal government for more regulation.