Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Greed Kills

According to this story in the Health section of the New York Times on Saturday, "Neither the system meant to make the meat safe, nor the meat itself, is what consumers have been led to believe."

Deadly e coli strains from shitty hamburger sicken hundreds. Some are incapacitated for life. To save 20 cents a pound, grinders use scraps bought from many different slaughterhouses, and mix them all together. Slaughterhouses refuse to sell to grinders that test incoming scraps for E. coli. If grinders were to test, slaughterhouses would have to recall contaminated meat. That would lose them the sale of that contaminated meat. Instead they demand that grinders not test. Grinders comply. The USDA is okay with this.
Dr. Kenneth Petersen, an assistant administrator with the [USDA’s] Food Safety and Inspection Service, said that the department could mandate testing, but that it needed to consider the impact on companies as well as consumers. 'I have to look at the entire industry, not just what is best for public health,' Dr. Petersen said. [emphasis added]
The Food Safety and Inspection Service must be moved from the USDA to the Food and Drug Administration. Only by removing inspectors from the control of an agency tasked with promoting its industry will those inspectors be free to fulfill their purpose of protecting the public.

In the post-Reagan United States, the highest good is seen as company profit. Food safety, worker safety, and environmental protection are to be done away with. This first became clear to me in 1994 when Newt Gingrich trumpeted his contract on America. That it continues under Democratic administrations is worse still.


Mary's 2 cents: Over and over again our government sanctions greed and profit, protecting corporations and shielding them from accountability, risking considerable and serious harm to individual consumers.

Clearly we have become a government by the corporations, for the corporations, and of the corporations. Makes me sick, and I don't even eat meat.
I refuse to live in a country like this anymore—and I am not leaving.
—Michael Moore

1 comment:

  1. Why do we even have govt anymore? Seems like only the voters believe in Democracy - the elected see public office as a license to do whatever makes them richer/more powerful. It really gripes me that we pay them for their service. They are paid better than almost every other vocation... certainly the important ones like teaching and care-giving!