“I saw Wyoming do this last year, and I thought ‘Hey, that’s a cool bill. That’s a cool idea,’”
This might not be the best way to make food safety rules.
Folks who want to make food in their home or garage and sell it are part of a growing business segment. By many accounts, the cottage food industry is growing in North America. Twenty U.S. states allow certain foods to be processed in the home and sold for consumption – but it’s a patchwork of regulatory approaches.
According to City Weekly, Utah politician Rep. Marc Roberts wants to exempt food producers who sell direct to the public from regulations. Including some high-risk products like dairy and poultry.
Government regulations set the bar of the lowest acceptable level of risk reduction.
No regulation = no bar. Rep. Roberts says no problem, the market will take care of it.
While Roberts says that under his bill, consumers would be encouraged to talk with the producers to find out how the poultry or dairy is produced, he does concede that if his bill were to become law and the safety inspections were removed, there’s nothing that would prevent a producer from lying to customers about their process. “That’s where the market is a beautiful thing in my opinion,” says Roberts, “why would a producer sell [tainted] food because his interest is to make sure his customers are healthy. So yes, you could get sick. There’s always going to be bad players in the market—in any market. But by-and-large, [producers’] incentive is to make sure their customers are healthy and happy.”
Yeah, unless the producer doesn’t know what hazards they should be controlling, or how to control them. Or doesn’t care.
I prefer prevention rather than relying on market corrections post-illness, long term sequelae or death.