Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Government's Attack on Onion Farmers, Yes Onion Farmers!

Jared Meyer explains:

proposed rule by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would drastically increase costs for American onion farmers and consumers, without any improvement in public safety. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident of government overreach—regulation for the sake of regulation is fast becoming the norm in Washington.
The proposed regulation, stemming from the 2011 Food Safety Modernization Act, would limit E. coli levels in irrigation water for any foods that could be consumed raw. This sounds like a justified reason for government action since E. coli outbreaks have the potential to sicken consumers. Just one problem, onions are not subject to E. coli contamination from irrigation. 
According to a thorough field study led by Oregon State University Agricultural Professor Clinton Shock, there is absolutely no risk of E. coli contamination from irrigation water, regardless of method used and bacteria levels in the water. This confirms what farmers and their customers have long known.
Complying with this regulation would have substantial financial consequences for farmers. Their irrigation water would need to be tested weekly and they would have to stop watering if E. coli levels were found to be too high. Onions are finicky and even a small break in irrigation could drastically reduce crop yields. 

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