Michele Bachmann Says Food Industry is Overregulated

In a Thursday, Sept. 8, 2011 photo, Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., delivers the Republican response to the speech by President Barack Obama to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington. Starting this weekend, Bachmann plans to campaign almost exclusively in Iowa as she tries to reassert herself in a race thats become a two-candidate contest between Texas Gov. Rick Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Republican presidential candidate Michele Bachmann said Tuesday that government regulations are overburdening the food market. According to the Associated Press, Bachmann made the statement at a family-run meatpacking plant in Des Moines, though she did not call for the repeal of any specific regulations.

“We want to have safety,” she said. “But we also want to have common sense.”

The argument that lightening government regulation could help businesses flourish is not a new one in the Republican field, but Bachmann is the first candidate to specifically focus on the food industry. She spoke to reporters while posing for photographs with huge slabs of meat.

“That’s part of the problem, the overkill,” she said. “And when they make it complicated, they make it expensive and so then you can no longer stay in business.”

The AP noted that Bachmann’s comment came just a week after the U.S. Agriculture Department announced wider testing for a potentially dangerous strain of E. coli in meat. The department has said that expanding testing of E. coli in meant from one strain to seven could lead to faster recalls of tainted products and help officials identify more foodborne illness. The meat industry, meanwhile, feels the move is too expensive without enough benefit.

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