WASHINGTON—Sensing an opening for a libertarian pushback against healthcare reform, Tea Party darling Rand Paul today issued an impassioned attack against newly proposed rules regulating the production of animal feed.
The senator from Kentucky, a self-described “warrior against government overreach,” used his seat on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee to denounce the Food and Drug Administration’s latest attempt to “force-feed arbitrary regulations down the throats of our pets, who have a God-given right to the rice, liver, and Purina blend of their choice.”
The long-awaited proposal follows the 2010 passage of the Food Safety and Modernization Act, which opened the door to government regulation of pet food. Like the deadly melamine found in imported dog and cat food that precipitated congressional action, tainted jerky treats from China appear to be responsible for the recent spate of 600 dog deaths and over 3,000 complaints dogging the FDA.
Paul, a doctor of ophthalmology, said he is “working to ensure that real free market principles are applied to the American health care system so that it is responsive to pets’ freedom of choice rather than government bureaucracy.”
The senator has long advocated for animal rights. Shortsighted himself, Paul’s Southern Kentucky Lions Eye Clinic focuses on curing feline vision problems.
Speaking to Glenn Beck on the topic of marriage rights, Paul further indicated that he believed equality was meant for everyone, pets included. “If we have no laws on this, people take it to one extension further,” said Paul. “Does it have to be humans?”
In addition to bestiality, pet food choices should be protected as well, claims Paul. “It’s a decision between man and man’s best friend. The only pet whose food should be dictated by the federal government is Bo [Obama].”
Paul argues that the new FDA rules, which are expected to cost the industry $130 million annually, amount to slavery. “As humans, yeah, we do have an obligation to give pets water, to give pets food,” allowed Paul, but “once you conscript people and say, ‘You can feed your cat Fancy Feast but not Meow Mix,’ then it’s servitude.”
He calls the introduction of new regulations “a dog and pony show,” designed “to show people that something bad happened, which it did, something terrible and tragic happened and I don’t want to demean or in any way lessen that, but the response to it is, ‘Hey, look over here…go fetch this government-sanctioned bone.’ It’s completely dehumanizing.”