To the editor:
I recently signed one of those Internet petitions to be sent to my senators. I never know how much good they do, but at least it’s doing something. This one was asking support for pending legislation for more and stricter inspection of the food we eat in the wake of the recent egg problems. I signed, and included a message saying we must do everything we can to protect people’s health.
Shortly thereafter I got a reply from Sen. Brownback. It started off saying how we need to continue expanding the markets for the agriculture industry while maintaining a safe, economical food supply. Then the following: “At the same time, the federal government must not create an overly burdensome regulatory system.”
Frankly I was stunned. Newspaper accounts of the conditions in these “egg factories” were deplorable and mentioned the lack and infrequency of inspection. These producers were far from being “overburdened.”
Protecting its citizens, whether with a strong military or insuring the safety of our food, drugs or water is the prime function of government. To subordinate this duty to insuring the profitability of industry shows misguided priorities and a fundamental misunderstanding of being an elected official.