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Reuters reports that Ed Schafer, Secretary of Agriculture in the Bush White House, says that new federal regulations will not solve what many see as a food safety crisis in the US.

"I don't believe that, from a USDA standpoint, we need to increase the number of inspectors or change the testing requirements," Schafer told , noting that he wanted to see greater innovation in the private sector. “I'd like to see them experimenting with new and better equipment and ideas,” he said. “You start mandating things, and that incentive to improve goes away.”

KC's View:
No word on whether Schafer also believe sin Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

I’m not sure that new regulations are needed so much as a whole new approach to transparency and traceability. Seems to me that to add new regulations onto the old regulations could just compound the problem. It may be almost impossible to achieve, but FMI CEO Tim Hammonds has forever been talking about a single food safety agency that would consolidate all these functions and make them work more smoothly and effectively. It increasingly sounds like this is the kind of revolution that really is required.

(Maybe Hammonds would like to tackle such a job after his retirement from FMI?)