Industry News / Food Safety

Trump Campaign Suggests – Then Deletes – Food Safety Rollback

By Dave Fusaro, Editor in Chief

Sep 19, 2016

A Trump campaign fact sheet circulated last week suggested rolling back food safety regulations, including the "food police" at the FDA; but the campaign later deleted the proposal from its website, according to Associated Press.

The fact sheet was sent out to supplement a speech the Republican presidential candidate gave to the New York Economic Club that touted fewer regulations but did not specifically mention food safety.

The campaign office said Trump would eliminate several regulations, including some of the inspection and enforcement powers of FDA, because they're burdensome and "overkill," according to Associated Press. AP said the campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the food safety proposal or why it was deleted.

The handout said the FDA food safety rules "govern the soil farmers use, farm and food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures" and other ways farmers and food companies do business. It also criticizes increased inspections of food manufacturing facilities as "inspection overkill."

Trump appeared to be targeting new FDA powers granted under the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, which received bipartisan support in passing Congress the year before.

"Eliminating FDA's food safety role would make more consumers sick, destroy consumer confidence at home and damage American competitiveness in global food markets," said Michael Taylor, the former FDA deputy commissioner for foods, who was cited by AP. Taylor led the effort to put the rules in place, and said it is a rare area of agreement in the country.

Associated Press also noted the language in the Trump campaign fact sheet mirrors, almost word for word, parts of a May report from The Heritage Foundation that criticizes increased regulation under President Barack Obama. That report said the FDA rules cast an "exceedingly broad regulatory net."