Egg-Headed Regulations

The FDA has initiated a recall of half a billion eggs, the most extensive in history, because of salmonella contamination that has already sickened 1,300. The head of the agency, Margaret Hamburg, said in interviews that regulators “need additional resources, we need additional authority [and] greater ability to trace back products to their source so that we can identify how the contamination occurred and what products are at risk.”

A plea for more power and resources is bureaucrats’ typical response to any crisis, but ironically, unwise FDA policies place obstacles in the way of technology to enhance disease resistance in eggs that could have prevented the outbreak in the first place.

More great analysis by the Hoover Institution’s Henry Miller here.

Comments (14)

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  1. Nancy says:

    Thanks for this post. Robert Reich was on TV this morning trying to blame all the problems on free enterprise. Turns out, the problem is with the government.

  2. Vicki says:

    I also saw the Reich interview (Morning Joe). Reich is not just anti-free enterprise. He’s anti-business.

  3. Larry C. says:

    Do you suppose this problem was hatched in the oval office?

  4. Trudy says:

    Eggactly, Larry.

  5. Tom H. says:

    I think the FDA proiorities have been scrambled.

  6. Joe S. says:

    I think the FDA has egg on its face.

  7. Attila the Pun says:

    I’ve heard stories on this ova and ova and I’m just plain huevo-ver it at this point. Omlettin’ it slide.

  8. Virginia says:

    This is akin to the organic farming movement. If we all ate organic food, we would starve to death for want to enough farm land to grow organic produce.

  9. Erik Ramirez says:

    I heard that this was caused by lack of refrigeration during transport of the eggs? If so, this was a big fail for business trying to save money on transportation at your health’s expense.

    Okay, Okay, it was Obama’s fault.

  10. artk says:

    This was caused by unsanitary conditions at the egg farms. The salmonella is caused by the hens getting infected when rat leave droppings in their feed. Some farms test their hens for infection and shut down that segment of the farm if they find any. The Hover Institute may think you can breed a super chicken that won’t get salmonella, it will more likely result in super salmonella that will kill rather than just cause a stomach ache. If the farms don’t care enough to test on their own, than they should either be forced to do so by law or shut down.

  11. steve says:

    Mr. Miller offers no example of a chicken that can not get salmonella. Pie in the sky. The proximate cause was guy who keeps getting fined, pays the fine and has problems again. A free market would leave this guy unregulated.


  12. Mo says:

    a free market would see this guy get shut down and prosecuted very quickly

  13. John Goodman says:

    Good puns. I always enjoy the yokes.

  14. Don says:

    Oeuf! It’s the time for the government to shell out more for protection – this is going to turn into a really bad yolk. Whoever hired the egg inspectors must have his brains scrambled. Let’s hope the whole situation is over easy because it’s not cracking me up. Omelette-ing caution be my guide until this whole fowl situation is resolved. Right now, safe breakfast is rare as hens teeth, which just goes to show you the best laid plans of mice and hen sometimes get poached by fate.