The Trump administration is making it easier for food companies to sell you diseased pork.
Trump is about to make dinnertime a lot riskier.
The Trump administration is weakening safety regulations and oversight on the pork industry by cutting the number of federal food inspectors by 40 percent — and allowing meat companies to police themselves.
With this little accountability and federal oversight, it's more likely that diseased pork products will make their way into the consumer market, threatening the safety of millions of families.
"This could pass, and everything could be okay for a while, until some disease is missed and we have an outbreak all over the country. It would be an economic disaster that would be very hard to recover from," Pat Basu, former chief veterinarian at the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, told the Washington Post.
Basu told the Post that he believes food inspection should be the job of the trained professionals at USDA, and not plant workers. He noted that outbreaks of serious contagions like foot-and-mouth disease could cause billions of dollars worth of damage to livestock and the broader economy.
The Post also reports that under the new Trump administration rules, tests for salmonella and E. coli would be scrapped. Companies would have to test for pathogens — but they wouldn't have to disclose the results of those tests to the public consuming the pork.
Trump has bragged of engineering "the most far-reaching regulatory reform in American history" and pats himself on the back for throwing out what he calls "job-killing regulations."
But Trump's and conservatives' obsession with deregulation is both counterproductive and dangerous. It puts workers and consumers at risk by giving companies a green light to pursue profit over safety, as long as it doesn't hurt their bottom lines in the short term.
Basu compared the future dangers from deregulating the pork industry to the recent problem of Boeing planes malfunctioning and crashing with hundreds on board — which happened following the deregulation of airline safety inspections by both Trump and George W. Bush.
Trump doesn't care about public health and safety; he just wants to be popular with big business. And if American families get sick from bad bacon, that is the price Trump is willing to pay.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.