Preemptive food safety regulations

Customer looks over groceries

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Companies that sell groceries want the government to hit them with some new regulations. Today, the Grocery Manufacturers Association will ask for more regulation of food imports.

The trade group says its trying to address concerns about food safety. But critics say the industry is really just trying to head off harsher regulation by the government. Jeremy Hobson explains.


Jeremy Hobson: The Grocery Manufacturers Association represents more than 200 companies -- from Kellogg to Nestle to Coca Cola. The group wants industry and the government to do a better job policing imports.

And this appetite for tougher regulation is welcomed by Chris Waldrop at the Consumer Federation of America:

Chris Waldrop: What the food industry has realized is that a weak regulatory system as well as weak regulatory agencies don't really serve anyone's interests.

But the industry is being tight-lipped about its proposal.

And regulatory watchdog Rick Melberth with OMB Watch warns the plan may be self-serving.

Rich Melberth: They want one standard. And they know that out of the Bush Administration, they're gonna get one that's gonna be fairly easy to meet, as opposed to what they might get later on or what might occur at the state level.

As the companies unveil their proposal, Congress will be looking at the issue as well -- at yet another food safety hearing.

In Washington, I'm Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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