In his State of the Union address Tuesday, President Obama said that while he’s in favor of reforming outdated and unnecessary regulations, he won’t be backing down on food or water safety.

stateofunion-350.jpg“I’m confident a farmer can contain a milk spill without a federal agency looking over his shoulder,” said the President in an hour-long speech before Congress. “But I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago. I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury pollution, or making sure that our food is safe and our water is clean.”

The mention comes just over a year after the president signed the sweeping Food Safety Modernization Act into law.

Though he touted health care reform and new regulations placed on Wall Street, President Obama said that his administration had approved fewer regulations in the first three years of his presidency than President Bush did in his — a line aimed at highlighting a middle-of-the-road agenda in an election year.

“I’ve ordered every federal agency to eliminate rules that don’t make sense. We’ve already announced over 500 reforms, and just a fraction of them will save business and citizens more than $10 billion over the next five years,” said Obama.

The president also told Congress not to “gut” investments in research in federally financed labs and universities, at a time when growing deficits continue to threaten agricultural research.

“Don’t gut these investments in our budget. Don’t let other countries win the race for the future,” said the President. “Support the same kind of research and innovation that led to the computer chip and the Internet; to new American jobs and new American industries.”


White House photo