- Egg Recall Hatches More Regulations
- Blagojevich Verdict Shows Overzealous Feds Got Greedy
- China's Looming Real-Estate Bubble
- New at Reason
Egg Recall Hatches More Regulations
"While people decry big food companies and factory farming, the fact is that food safety has dramatically improved since the days of mom-and-pop butcher shops and millions of small family farms, e.g., deaths from foodborne illness have dropped more than 100-fold from 1900 to today. The [Food Safety Enhancement] act specifically exempts farmers who sell directly to consumers from the new requirements, but many small and organic farmers nevertheless oppose the legislation. They fear that the new regulations will inevitably expand to include them. A Congressional Budget Office analysis estimates that the new regulations would cost the government $2 billion to implement by 2014...Private companies have been quick to develop their own food safety programs. And they have a big incentive for doing so: They lose a lot of money when their brands and industries are caught up in a food safety problem. So companies like Wal-Mart and McDonald's are already contracting with suppliers to meet higher standards than the government mandates...We can expect that as the media and consumers focus more attention on food safety, that food producers and processors will respond to market demands with increasing alacrity and effectiveness. The new regulations sought by the FDA will only slow down that process while offering the illusion of increased safety." - Reason magazine's Ronald Bailey on the salmonella outbreak
More Ronald Bailey: Forget Peak Oil. What About Peak Lithium, Peak Neodymium, and Peak Phosphorous?
Blagojevich Verdict Shows Overzealous Feds Got Greedy
Reason magazine's Jacob Sullum writes, "[U.S. Attorney Patrick] Fitzgerald did what federal prosecutors often do: He piled on the charges, accusing Blagojevich of 24 separate but largely redundant counts in the hope that some of them would stick. In a salutary rebuke to overzealous prosecutors, the case collapsed under the weight of its confounding complexity...the prosecution's failure in a trial where the defense did not even bother to present any witnesses shows that the length of an indictment is not a reliable indicator of a defendant's guilt. Since people tend to assume that anyone who faces dozens of charges must have done something wrong, that is a welcome reminder."
China's Looming Real-Estate Bubble
In the Wall Street Journal, Reason Foundation's Shikha Dalmia and Anthony Randazzo write, "Despite the global downturn, China's economic growth rate remains above 10%. But there is mounting evidence that Beijing has misallocated vast amounts of capital, touching off a real-estate crisis that could yet drag the world's second-largest economy down to earth...housing prices that had started dropping due to the recession began to soar again. Over the past year they increased nearly 12%, according to the latest figures from China's National Bureau of Statistics. So many middle-class Chinese (especially young couples wishing to move out of their parents' home) are being priced out of the market that their travails became the subject of a popular TV series called 'Dwelling Narrowness.' Beijing banned the show, fearing it would cause unrest."
Reason's Sam Staley at NYTimes.com on China's 60-Mile Traffic Jam
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