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Food Safety News reports that the Utah legislature is scheduled to consider legislation “that would exempt his state from federal food regulations, including the recently enacted food safety bill, if the food is not sold across state lines.”

Utah state Rep. Bill Wright says that “within the state, it's state's rights. We already have regulations over those items. We function well now. We don't think they have a right or authority to regulate those items that are not interstate commerce, as long as they're grown within the state, packaged in the state and remain in the state."

As Food Safety News writes, “The historic FDA Food Safety Modernization Act, signed by President Obama in January, contains exemptions for small farms, under certain conditions, to help reduce the regulatory burden on small businesses. The new law does not apply to farms and very small businesses that sell most of their food directly to consumers, restaurants, or grocery stores within the same state, or within 275 miles, and have less than $500,000 in annual sales.” The FDA can “withdraw the exemption if food from an exempt farm or facility is associated with a foodborne illness outbreak.”
KC's View:
I’m actually okay with this approach to state’s rights if Utah also is willing to put large stickers on exempted food products that say, “This product not subject to federal food safety regulations.”

Look, we can argue over whether the food safety bill was the best possible legislation. (I would suggest that it wasn’t, but that no legislation, by definition, is the best possible solution to any problem because legislation is the act of compromise.) And we can debate how the regulations can be made both more efficient and effective. (Which might happen if politicians could be convinced to somehow listen to the better angels of their nature, which is unlikely to happen on either side of the aisle.)

But it seems to me that federal regulations are federal regulations - and that federal regulations are not, by their very definition, evil things. I don’t live in Utah, but if I happen to visit the state, I’d like to know that the food I eat there is subject to the same safety rules as the food in Connecticut or Florida or Ohio or Arizona or California.