- The Trump campaign released a fact sheet last week that suggested eliminating food safety regulations because they are "overkill" and burden farmers.
- The campaign later removed the food safety proposal from its website without an explanation.
- Trump issued another fact sheet without the food safety recommendations.
Among the campaign's original food safety remarks were that Trump would get rid of the "food police" at the FDA, that increased inspections of food production facilities were "inspection overkill" and that the FDA's food safety rules govern many aspects of farmers' and food producers' operations, from soil choice to temperature. Farmers have also been concerned about the costs involved in abiding by these regulations.
But removing these food safety regulations could be a logistics nightmare and health hazard if other safeguards are not put in place. If the food supply is less safe because of a regulations rollback, contaminated food could sicken consumers; consumers could lose trust in the food supply and manufacturers; and the global perception of America's food supply could deteriorate.
Trump's original criticisms of food safety regulations aren't anything new, as other members of Congress have voiced similar opinions of the government's increased scrutiny of companies and farmers. But in a presidential race, taking the side of a debate that most consumers don't agree with may not be the best move for a candidate. A June 2016 Harris Poll found that more than three-quarters of Americans have concerns about food safety, Quartz reported.
Trump's food safety remarks may also be ill-timed considering a rash of high-profile recalls over the past year, ranging from Blue Bell's listeria-contaminated ice cream to General Mills' ongoing flour recall, which has since expanded to several other products and brands and overseas. A mysterious sugar recall, the supplier for which remains shrouded by the FDA and claims of corporate confidentiality, also continues to expand.