Who Hijacked Our Country

Monday, September 01, 2008

George Marie Antoinette Bush: “Let Them Eat Bovine Encephalopathy-Infected Meat”

If you're still under the impression that our economy is based on capitalism or some sort of “free market,” this news item will shatter your illusions once and for all.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been inspecting about one percent of America’s beef cattle for Mad Cow Disease. (The official name is Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, or BSE.)

A Kansas meatpacking company, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, has been testing all of its cattle — 100% — for Mad Cow Disease. And being shrewd business people, they’ve been advertising this fact. Who wouldn’t?

Unfortunately this puts the large meatpacking companies in kind of an awkward position. And today’s bloated government-subsidized corporations don’t like awkward positions. Or competition. Or being one-upped by a smaller company.

So the large meatpacking companies have instructed their prostitutes at USDA to prevent Creekstone Farms from testing all of its cattle. And a federal Appeals Court judge — Karen LeCraft Henderson — has ruled that the USDA can indeed prevent a meatpacking company from going above and beyond the minimum requirements by inspecting all of its cattle and not just one percent.

That old cliché needs to be rewritten: Build a better mousetrap and your competitors will instruct the government to shut you down.

Traditionally it’s been liberals who wanted a certain amount of government regulation for the purpose of protecting public health, the environment, workers’ safety, etc. Conservatives have always railed against this “government meddling,” insisting that the “free market” will take care of everything.

Now we have the federal government PREVENTING a company from looking out for its customers and trying to deliver the best product they can. Is this what conservatives want? And what would you even call this economic system?

cross-posted at Bring It On!

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger Randal Graves said...

There might be other, higher-profile tropes floating around, but if this doesn't PERFECTLY encapsulate their economic worldview, I don't know what does.

There's one company out of millions finally self-regulating in the best sense of the term - 'cause, you know, healthy meat would probably generate more profits than tainted meat; just a wild guess on my part - and then this.

The free market scares the hell out of them. Not that it shouldn't, especially if you're not a member of the powerful classes, but it's still funny in a bang your head against a way kind of way.

September 1, 2008 at 6:07 AM  
Blogger Carlos said...

This is fucking amazing. I don't know what's worse: the fact that I didn't hear about this on any mainstream news shows, or this dumbass judge ruled as she did.

Speaking of dumbasses...Guess where she resides now. ;-)

Dumbasses In Government

September 1, 2008 at 6:11 AM  
Blogger Lew Scannon said...

Free market my ass! This is the corpocracy run rampant over the small business that Republicans claim to favor.

September 1, 2008 at 7:39 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Randal: Pretty ironic, no? Republicans are always talking about allowing companies to "police themselves." And when one company finally does this, the Republican administration says NO. Go figure.

Carlos: Thanks for posting this. It definitely falls under the category of Dumbasses in Government.

Lew: It's getting harder for them to even pretend it's a "free market" with blatant shit like this going on.

September 1, 2008 at 12:00 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Money Uber Alles!!!

There is a lot of revealing stuff about the meat industry in the book "Fast Food Nation". A must-read book in my opinion. After reading it I DRAMATICALLY cut back on my fast food intake. Eeeek.

And yes, our government DOESN'T really care about whether we are eating unhealthy food or not, as long as those corporate dollar-earners aren't threatened.

In fact, I am fairly sure our government doesn't give the slightest shit about us as long as money is being made. Looking at this issue, global warming, overseas clothing sweatshops, whatever... it truly is disgusting.

September 1, 2008 at 12:47 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...



I'm beside myself. This was indeed a ploy to save a buck by the bigger companies because they don't want to pay for testing. They'd rather someone die or get sick then backtrack from there. Love it.

September 1, 2008 at 3:47 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: That's right, Money Uber Alles. It's been getting more obvious that the government is working hand in hand with large corporations, but this is just so blatant.

I've heard a lot about Fast Food Nation but I haven't read it. I'm sure it's full of important (but gross) information. Like that old saying goes about not watching sausages get made.

Ricardo: Yup, so much for competition. Now it's the government's role to protect the largest companies from being shown up by a smaller company. They don't care if people die, as long as their largest donors keep making lots of money.

September 1, 2008 at 4:55 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

It's good reading, Tom. People don't know that in a fast food burger the patty can be made up of meat from hundreds of different animals, and much of that meat is mechanically separated from the bone. Illegal immigrants with low English skills are hired to work at the plants, and the turnover rate is high... they tend to last only a few months on the job, so there is a high level of inexperience in the plants. Sanitation is poor, inspection is poorly done, and sometimes sick, wobbling animals are led to slaughter for meat anyway.

There is also a lot of interesting stuff about the unholy alliance between McDonald's and Disney. Eccch...

McCain and the Republicans really DON'T care about America's health, as long as money can be made.

September 1, 2008 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Sounds pretty grim. I used to live near a poultry processing plant; I drove by it twice a day on my commute. I always figured if I ever saw the inside of one of those places I'd be an instant vegetarian.

People tend to think their food just magically appears on the supermarket shelf or on the plate at a restaurant. We'd all be a lot more diet-conscious if we knew the ingredients in our food and the processes involved.

September 1, 2008 at 8:28 PM  
Blogger opit said...

The plot gets much - uh - shittier than that. I posted the following link at a medical researcher's blog for a heads-up, unsure if I was getting hot over a relative nothing and fearing that might not be the case :
http://www.sludgevictims.com/pathgens/prions-composting.html was posted at
http://butisitpc.wordpress.com/ - where I had more to say myself.

September 3, 2008 at 12:42 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

"The U.S. Department of Agriculture has been inspecting about one percent of America’s beef cattle for Mad Cow Disease."

Sho 'nuff, one more time we see the cold, dead hand of government making it near impossible for bidness to operate without unbearable and profit-sapping interference. My heart goes out to the slaughterhouses and packing plants affected. It must be awful.

And then comes this upstart outfit willing to test all its beef? Whoa! Can't have that.

Seriouly, the thing about spongiform encephalitis is that it often doesn't show up for seven to 10 years. So if you get clusters of victims, all that can be done is to look back in time and say it's a shame more and better checking wasn't done.

This is one highly preventable disaster that is not being prevented because of greed, stupidity and a compulsion for political advantage.

The ironic thing is, it has the potential to ultimately cost the industry far more than testing of all animals would.

September 3, 2008 at 12:51 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Opit: Interesting data. A lot of big words for me, but from what I can gather, it seems to back up your description about the plot getting shittier.

SW: I didn't even know that, that the disease takes 7 to 10 years to show up. Like you said, after the damage is done the regulators can look back and say "gee, not enough was done."

And yes, it would be so much cheaper in the long run to just test all of their cattle and try to deliver the best product they can.

September 3, 2008 at 1:32 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home