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Public Statements

Regulatory Accountability Act of 2011

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PETERSON. I thank the gentleman.

I rise today in support of H.R. 3010 because, especially in agriculture, we have been dealing with innumerable problems that have been brought by regulations that are not properly vetted and seem to be from people that have a lack of understanding of exactly what's going on in agriculture.

And it seems like we have some of these bureaucrats that are working on these regulations that they've basically set up, you know, they've claimed there is threat of lawsuits or whatever; and the next thing you know, they're off doing regulations that have been kind of self-fulfilling prophecies on their part.

This legislation gives us an overhaul, I guess, for the first time in 65 years, in the Administrative Procedures Act, to make sure that we have more openness, more transparency, more accountability in these regulations, more time, more analysis, more compilation on how these regulations are developed and how they can--how we can improve this so we can improve the people's confidence in the process, to try to make sure that we're taking into account the costs of what these regulations are going to place, not only on the businesses but, ultimately, on the consumers that are affected by this.

In agriculture, we have all these things that are coming down that I think people have a lack of understanding of just exactly what the effect is going to be. A lot of these regulations are going to have the effect of significantly increasing food costs to consumers in this country, and I just think a lot of these urban folks have no idea what they're doing. And the next thing you know, once, if these regulations got in place, they'd be back in Congress looking for more help for SNAP and for other programs to try to pay for the increased food cost that was put on them by these regulations.

The more we can open up this process, the more we can get people to understand the actual effect of these regulations and what they're going to accomplish if they're put into place, the better the situation is going to be.

I think this is a good step in the right direction. Personally, I would probably go even further than what's in this bill, but it is probably what can be accomplished at this point.

I am very happy to be here today to support this effort, and I look forward to having a successful outcome.


Mr. PETERSON. In agriculture we only have jurisdiction over meat and about 20 percent of the food safety is under the jurisdiction of the Ag Department. If the FDA was anywhere near as competent as the USDA is in terms of inspections, we wouldn't have these problems. You know, frankly, the FDA should not be regulating this, the Department of Agriculture should be regulating it.


Mr. PETERSON. We're talking about a bigger issue here.

All this bill does is give folks a better chance to understand what's going on here. This whole food safety issue has been a big problem because people are off on tangents that don't have anything to do with reality. Hopefully with this new procedure, we're going to be able to more fully vet this so the public can understand what's going on here.

Salmonella exists in all kinds of products. It's going to be there, it's always going to be there no matter what you do. What you have to do is have a regime in place so you can determine the salmonella before it gets into the food supply.

I thank the gentleman for yielding.


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