The head of the Iowa Egg Council is questioning new state regulations Chet Culver proposed in his final hours as governor. Culver suggested the state should implement new salmonella detection and prevention efforts to address weaknesses in federal regulations.
Kevin Vinchattle, executive director of both the Iowa Egg Council and the Iowa Poultry Association, says there are already four levels of federal regulations in place and adding new state rules seems unnecessary. “We may not know how it’s all going to mix together right now, so to add another layer in there, honestly, I don’t know — in my opinion, I don’t know what that really would provide,” Vinchattle says.
A report issued earlier this year by former Governor Culver’s administration said new state rules for egg laying facilities could make Iowa the “gold standard” for egg production. Two north central Iowa facilities were at the center of a massive egg recall last summer. Vinchattle says restoring consumer confidence in the nation’s egg supply is crucial.
“We had a situation and I hope that we don’t have it again,” Vinchattle says. “And we’re certainly going to work to see that we don’t have it again.” But Vinchattle says state lawmakers should wait and see if the new federal regulations do the job before establishing new state rules for the poultry industry.
State Senator Joe Seng, a Democrat from Davenport who is chairman of the Senate Ag Committee, says legislators will seek other input before making a decision.