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Trump campaign proposes - then deletes - food safety rules change

Published 16/09/2016

Mr Trump's campaign offered no explanation for the deletion (AP)
Mr Trump's campaign offered no explanation for the deletion (AP)

Donald Trump's US presidential campaign has proposed - then deleted - rolling back American food safety regulations.

The Republican nominee's team had argued in a factsheet that the rules are burdensome to farmers and amount to "overkill", but later deleted the proposal from its website.

After sending out the factsheet on Thursday, the campaign issued a new release which did not include the food safety references.

The factsheet was sent out to supplement a speech Mr Trump gave to the New York Economic Club which touted fewer regulations, but did not specifically mention food safety.

In the original sheet, the campaign said that Mr Trump would eliminate several regulations, including the "food police" at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment on the food safety proposal or why it was deleted.

The handout said the FDA food safety rules "govern the soil farmers use, farm and food production hygiene, food packaging, food temperatures" and other ways farmers and food companies do business. It also criticised increased inspections of food manufacturing facilities as "inspection overkill".

The description matches new food safety regulations passed by US Congress in 2010 in response to an outbreak of salmonella linked to a Georgia peanut company that killed nine epople and made more than 700 others sick in 46 states.

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 48 million people - or one in 6 in the United States - become ill each year from food-borne diseases, and an estimated 3,000 people die.

The final food safety rules for produce issued last year and supported by the food industry require farmers to test irrigation water quality, regularly train workers on the best health and hygiene practices and monitor wildlife that may intrude on growing fields, among other measures. The rules are designed to focus on the riskiest foods.

Michael Taylor, the former FDA deputy commissioner for foods who led the effort to put the rules in place, said it is one area of agreement in the country, since both the food industry and consumers want safe food.

"Eliminating FDA's food safety role would make more consumers sick, destroy consumer confidence at home, and damage American competitiveness in global food markets," he said.

AP

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