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.