Regulatory Capture of the USDA

by cactus

Time to End Regulatory Capture of the USDA by the Meat Packing Industry

A couple years ago, I had a post looking at particularly egregious case of regulatory capture. I noted that the gubmint refused to allow a small meat packing company to test all of its beef for mad cow disease. The reason, of course, is that allowing the company to do so would set up a standard that the market might then expect other companies to meet. (Apparently the folks who believe in a free market don’t believe companies should be allowed to compete on quality, where quality is measured through testing.)

For a while, this was a bone of contention with Japan – the impasse was eventually resolved by the requirement that any beef shipped to Japan undergo additional testing and certification. This weekend the AP is reporting that one of Tysons’ plants (a repeat offender, by the way) got itself into trouble by shipping some no-no meat into Japan.

I particularly like this line from the story:

Gary Mickelson, a spokesman for Tyson, called the delivery of that box a mix-up.

Yeah, it was a mix-up alright. I can only assume that box was intended for American consumers.

Memo to Obama: here’s a Bush era regulation that most of us would be better off without.
by cactus