Conservative presidential candidate Michele Bachmann criticized federal meat safety requirements during a visit to a meat locker in Des Moines, Iowa Tuesday.

Along her usual talking points, Bachmann, a Congresswoman from Minnesota, stuck to anti-regulatory, anti-Washington rhetoric during the visit, which included a tour and a stint carving up rib eye steaks.

“Is Washington helping or is Washington hurting?” she asked the 10 or so business owners and employees in the audience, the Des Moines Register reported. “What we’ve heard today from this meat market here in Iowa is that Washington is hurting; it’s no longer helping.”

Pointing to a binder of paperwork, Bachman said she believes federal requirements are “overkill” and hamper small business growth.

“It is more regulation than this business has ever had before,” said Bachmann. “Now government has gotten in and made it almost impossible to be able to create a profit anymore in this business. “

“We want to have safety, but at the same time we want to have some common sense,” she added. “Iowa’s filled with common sense.”

Bachmann’s comments come just a week after the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced it will soon consider six additional serogroups of disease-causing E. coli adulterants, making it illegal to sell meat products contaminated with the so-called “Big Six.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the types of E. coli targeted by new regulation cause approximately 113,000 illnesses and 300 hospitalizations annually in the United States.

  • Minkpuppy

    My inner meat inspector says: “AURRGGGHH!!! Someone please make the crazy lady go away!”
    Bachmann is ignoring one very important point: If the meat industry could be trusted to regulate itself then there would be not need for inspectors to be there. They can’t be trusted and shouldn’t be trusted. The meat industry today is paradise compared to the days of Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”. Maybe Mrs. Bachmann should read it to understand why we regulate the meat industry.
    I started tearing my hair out the second I saw her meat locker photo-op. No hairnet or hardhat, jewelry, and open-toed wedge sandals. There’s 2 reasons why these things are no-no’s in meat plants: Safety and hygiene. I’m sure the inspector in this plant about lost his or her mind as well. I also know from personal experience that he or she was probably told to shut up and not say anything to the “esteemed” Mrs. Bachmann about the fact she was potentially contaminating the meat.
    I love my hardhat and boots. I’ve saved myself from concussions many times when walking around in tight spaces in plants. It’s much nicer to duck under a conveyor and only crack the helmet and not my head. My boots keep me from falling on my butt or getting a broken foot from something falling on them. I don’t know of anyone that wants hair or jewelry in their food either. And sandals in a meat locker around raw meat???? Gross! There’s too much nasty stuff to step in and let’s not even mention what she drug into the plant on those shoes and feet. *shudder*
    Meat packing is a very dangerous and very dirty job. The regulations are there to protect the employees and consumers from injury. This little photo-op for the GOP just proves to me how out of touch the candidates are with the realities and dangers in industries like meat packing and manufacturing. Sheesh!

  • A Flores

    It is “common sense” to want the safest food possible.

  • Juanita Cutler

    Perhaps the media should invite the owner/operator of this meat-packing plant, Amend Packing Plant, to disavow Ms Bachmann’s jeremiad against government regulations and inspections of meat-packing plants, and assure the public that Amend supports the role of the government in helping them to be sure that their meat will never sicken consumers. They need to tell us that she doesn’t speak for them. She is using them.