Trouble? No Problem, Make a New Agency

The problem with government is that it continues to grow. If there is a problem the first response is to make another agency. There are scores of agencies in the government that do the same things. Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) continually discusses programs that can be eliminated and steps that can be taken in order to balance our budget and save taxpayer money. Unfortunately, the government is like a stray cat. The more you feed it the larger it gets and the longer it sticks around.

The basic problem is that people expect government to manage and regulate everything. The Democratic party is particularly fond of hand outs in order to build classes of people dependent upon them. Tragically, this dependence causes people to stop thinking for themselves and leaves them vulnerable, as demonstrated by the people in New Orleans who did not leave and then stood around looking for the government to come save them. The images of people standing in water not knowing where to go or what to do should be a reminder of what happens when people think government is a panacea.

Recently, spinach caused a lot pf problems. A bacteria found in the lower digestive tract of animals (including humans) made its way into water that was used to irrigate fields where the spinach was grown. The bacteria caused a few deaths and made a few people sick. Now there is concern over lettuce grown in the same places. As a side note, a vegetarian once told me that Mad Cow’s disease was punishment for eating animals. I wonder what the E. Coli contamination is punishment for? With these recent concerns, as well as concerns that some beef might have been contaminated and stacked up with botulism in carrot juice, two Senators are calling for, you guessed it, a new government agency.

Senators Chuck Schumer and Hillary Clinton are sponsoring legislation authored by Dick Durbin calling for a new agency designed to be in charge of food safety.

The outbreaks have sparked demands to create a new federal agency in charge of food safety. Sens. Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, both New York Democrats, are sponsoring legislation authored by Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., to create the unified Food Safety Agency. AP – Rachel Konrad

Once again we have government officials looking to create more government bureaucracy. They happen to be Democrats this time but no party is immune from the insanity behind creating federal agencies. The three here want to create an agency to look out for our food and make sure it is safe. They probably have a bunch of friends who would like government jobs and what better way to get them the jobs than create a federal agency? Tie this in with the upcoming elections and they can all look like they are so concerned for food safety that they need to create an agency to ensure it. The problem is, we already have an agency that is supposed to do that. These folks want to make another one and duplicate efforts with the end result being more taxpayer money spent.

The FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health. FDA (emphasis added)

Certainly, the FDA is lacking in some of its responsibilities and there is a problem. Though I do not expect they have the capability to look at every single aspect of our food supply, I would expect them to have inspectors in all areas where food is produced and I expect they would test the incoming water supply (or require it) and test the outgoing food (or require it). Obviously with the amount of food we produce these are isolated incidents that affect very few but that is only comforting if you are not one of the few.

The federal government does not need another agency. It needs to tighten up the one that already exists. If these elected officials are determined to have a separate agency then they need to remove the food responsibilities from the FDA and put them in this new agency. There should be no increase in people or budget. The move can NOT cost more taxpayer money. It would probably be better to divide the FDA into two sub agencies under the head of the FDA. One path leads to the drug responsibilities and the other to the food responsibilities.

The answer to government ineptitude is not more government involvement. If the government can not get it right, creating more government will not make it better. Remember, the government is not efficient and it does not produce, it consumes. Wasn’t it Ben Franklin who said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results”?

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