Let’s get rid of all those pesky government regulations!

Like the Clean Water Act.

Why not? Regulations intefere with businesses and big profits and don’t protect us ordinary people, not really.

Tell that to French parents, whose babies have been poisoned by milk formula produced by one of France’s major dairy companies.

I found these two stories on the front page of today’s Times, despite being distracted at first by Devin Nunes’s dopey antics.

Let me give you a telling excerpt, my bolding, from the French story — an excerpt that punched me with a closed-fist encapsulation of something I’ve written about previously, why we need government to regulate businesses. Hint: because businesses don’t care to regulate themselves.

Can you imagine what would happen here in the United States if babies were poisoned? I can: HUGE lawsuits. Which is one reason businesses, no matter how amoral, should not be fighting off regulations. Regulations protect us citizens and protect the regulated businesses and their shareholders from class action lawsuits.

PARIS — When the French dairy giant Lactalis began recalling baby formula, Ségolène Noviant thought she was safe. The milk she had been feeding her 5-month-old son wasn’t on the list.

Then her son, Noan, was rushed to the emergency room with a fever, diarrhea and internal bleeding. His formula was tainted with salmonella — and a broad range of other Lactalis powdered milk products still on the shelves were at risk, too.

It would take three recalls and many weeks for the scope of the problem to finally become clear, stoking public outrage over what has become known in France as “l’affaire Lactalis.” In one of the biggest recalls of its kind, the company has pulled more than 7,000 tons of potentially contaminated baby formula and other powdered milk products across more than 80 countries, mostly in Europe, Africa and Asia. And its chief executive said on Thursday that the company’s powdered milk products may have been exposed to salmonella for more than a decade.

The massive recall and the missteps along the way have exposed corporate lapses and regulatory gaps that allowed tainted products to make their way into supermarkets and pharmacies, even weeks after the problems were discovered. The episode at Lactalis, which also makes yogurt, butter and cheese, has highlighted what critics say is lax oversight of industrial food companies and weak reporting standards across the European Union.

“Lax oversight”? “Weak reporting standards?”

Translation: no government regulation.

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