Ariz. tea party candidate: No government regulation of salmonella


Salmonella in America's food supply has resulted, time and again, from uninspected plants with health, safety and labor violations.

1,300 people in 22 states fell sick during the last national outbreak because they ate eggs from one such plant in Iowa.

Across the board there were calls for doing something to close the gaps in the regulations that allowed this to happen.

In Arizona, however, a Republican candidate, Jesse Kelley, for the House in that state's 8th District, has come out strongly in favor of such salmonella outbreaks. He, like many Republicans denying the obvious need for better enforcement of health and food safety regulations, almost incredibly, espoused what amounts to "E-Coli conservatism" at a campaign rally hosted by the Pima County Tea Party Patriots.

Steve Benen who wrote a column about it in the Washington Monthly picked the story up Oct. 24. A similar one can be found here:

A voter, during a question-and-answer period, asked Kelly about the recent salmonella case that required the recall of more than a half billion eggs.

The voter asked Kelly if he would support a law that would allow the federal government, through the Food and Drug Administration, to shut down companies that have too many safety violations, such as the Iowa outfit that allowed the sale of eggs that sickened so many last summer.

Kelly told the voter he didn't "believe what we're lacking right now is more regulations on companies."

"You could probably spit on the grass and get arrested by the federal government by now," Kelly said.

The voter did not give up. "Who's protecting us?" he asked. Kelly responded by saying, "It's our job to protect ourselves."

Still not giving up, the voter asked, "Am I supposed to go to a chicken farmer and say I'd like to close you down because all of your birds are half dead?"

Kelly responded: "There's a new thing that comes along every day. But I know this: Every part of our economy that is regulated by the government doesn't have fewer disasters, it has more."

"It really never occurred to me that right-wing Republicans would start running on a pro-salmonella platform," wrote Benen, "but Jesse Kelly and his tea party allies have a surprisingly twisted world view. Kelly seriously seems to believe that laws to enforce food safety are unnecessary, and may ultimately make matters worse. Just let the free market work its magic and everything will be fine."

Benen goes on to say that it is almost impossible to overstate how radical Kelly and many Republicans are. His concern is that as lack of regulation is putting Americans who purchase food in the hospital, zealous conservatives, instead of seeking stronger regulation, propose the FDA should do nothing and that we should fend for ourselves.

The "on your own society" favored by Kelly and his fellow tea partiers ends up, many progressives note, being a society where government actually has a very definite and decided bias - in favor of the rich, the big corporations and their profits and against the people and their health and safety.

"This congressional candidate - who stands a fairly strong chance of winning...actually supports the notion of Americans playing Russian Roulette every time they go to the grocery store," writes Benen. "I can only assume the vast majority has no idea what they're about to elect."

Image: Salmonella and E-coli are invisible on foods purchased at the grocery store.


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  • Kelley is hilarious! What a fun read. (He was joking, right?

    Posted by Beth, 11/08/2010 9:19am (5 years ago)

  • Gee I'm an RN and every 2 years I have to show continuing education and pay a fee to continue my license. I also had to take a state exam to prove my understanding of the skills and theory of my prospective job. I had to display my skills and attitudes to a teacher with years of experience. No guesswork in my diploma.
    Let's stop all this regulation and next time you are sick in the hospital just guess if the nurse taking care of you will know what to do when you have chest pain. Let's go back 50 years and maybe she will put an oxygen mask on you but she can just guess about how many liters. Oh yeah why force anyone to learn that European METRIC system. Regulations are made for the "common good" but I understand that too is now a curse word according to Beck not something we want to teach our children.
    These people have a philosophy which is the most simplistic and basic,bare human survival. Live at the animal level, kill or be killed, fight or flight. The animalistic level of human interaction is not bad as it makes us eat when we are hungry. That is survival. But thousands of years of human development has given us so much more to reach for and so much higher a level of being. Why do some still want all of us to live at this most simple animalistic level?
    Thanks for exposing just one more level of insanity in the right wing theory of return to prehistoric existence.

    Posted by Viviana, 10/27/2010 9:27am (5 years ago)

  • As en Emperor was surveying his empire, and saw that region had a particularly high level of sickness, and also a very high quantity of doctors.

    So, he ordered all of his doctors to be put to death, because he concluded they must have been causing the sickness. Afterwards, the quantity of sick people rose astronomically, because the doctors were treating those who were inflicted with disease.

    That's the same thing... "Every part of our economy that is regulated by the government doesn't have fewer disasters, it has more."

    Yes, this is because these sectors of the economy are particularly prone to disaster.

    Come on Kelly...

    Posted by Ryan D. Ward, 10/26/2010 3:07pm (5 years ago)

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