Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Global Crackdown on Contaminated Meat

The European Union, China and Taiwan — among other countries — have stopped importing tainted, chemical-laden meat from a certain backward country whose safety standards are lagging behind the rest of the world.  Yes, that’s us.

Ractopamine hydrochloride is a drug that’s fed to pigs and other livestock.  The FDA approved this drug thirteen years ago, but most other countries have banned it.  I guess it comes down to what a government’s priorities are:  public health or agri-business profits.

Ractopamine hydrochloride causes severe illness in the pigs, cattle and turkeys to whom it’s fed.  There’s also been speculation — nothing proven yet — that these same health hazards are passed on to the people who eat these animals.

In a related story, California recently passed a state law requiring the immediate euthanization of any livestock animals that were too sick to walk.  The law also prohibited the sale of these animals for meat.  But that law has been overturned by the Corporate Arm of the Republican Party (formerly known as the U.S. Supreme Court).

Since business lobbyists are always talking about free enterprise — the invisible hand of the marketplace — you’d think they would figure out the obvious:  In order to export their products, they need to be selling a product that other countries would like to buy.

Our bought-and-paid-for legislators certainly aren’t going to tell their agri-business pimps what to do.  If they want to sell meat made from animals that were too sick to even stand up, and from animals that were raised on a hazardous growth hormone — let the marketplace decide.

Except — well, the global marketplace HAS decided.  Being shrewd business people, Big Ag has probably figured out that they can export more of their products by adopting some basic safety standards on their own.  Right?

Nope.  U.S. trade officials are trying to armtwist other countries into importing our tainted products, health hazards and all.

Ah, free enterprise.

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Blogger Jerry Critter said...

Sounds like another compelling reason to be a vegetarian.

January 25, 2012 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger jadedj said...

So what do the stupid agri-corporate bastards who have control over what these animals are fed, eat? Foreign meat?

Sorry for the convoluted sentence...I've on had one cup of joe.

January 26, 2012 at 5:00 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I guess England doesn't need anymore problems on top of their "Mad cow" problems .
And China should talk with all their "non regulations".
They just wait till after babies die from tainted formula then they execute the manufacturer.
Obama may have solved that one because he signed off on the OK to slaughter horses for meat exportation.

January 26, 2012 at 7:57 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Hey JR or Samuel,you've been outed you dumb redneck.

January 26, 2012 at 8:18 AM  
Blogger jadedj said...

Keep on eating it, Lisa. The contaminated meat, as well.

January 26, 2012 at 8:33 AM  
Blogger Mr. Charleston said...

You can bet the whole thing's a scheme from the other countries to get us to accept some banned crap of theirs in exchange for our crap.

January 26, 2012 at 8:56 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Nothing like a global market.
Ha-I don't eat meat,just turkey and I only eat fish from Alaska

January 26, 2012 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger jadedj said...

As usual, Lisa, you did not get the inference.

January 26, 2012 at 9:37 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

I'll stick to being vegan thank you very much.

January 26, 2012 at 11:19 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I know what you meant jadedj. That meat would go good with your koolaid.

January 26, 2012 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger jadedj said...

Jesus X Christ...you still didn't get it!

January 26, 2012 at 2:32 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

January 26, 2012 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Good post, Tom!

Things don't seem to be changing much since "Fast Food Nation" was written. That book opened my eyes enough that I've changed my meat-buying habits. I still eat more meat than I ought to, I'm sure, but now I tend to buy the stuff from people I know, if I can... so it won't be from animals raised on chemicals, etc.

My hope, after reading that book, was that enough people would read it to complain loudly enough that something might get done about unsanitary conditions and unhealthy meat products.

Nothing has changed, and the rest of the world is wising up to us. I guess more thorough inspections of the food we produce is not something that's good for business, eh.

And since we have gotten to the point where business is what we are all about, how about if those who elevate business above all else go ahead and eat lots and lots of the food other nations will no longer buy from us, and those of us who are more discriminate about what we eat will gradually gain the upper hand through a process of attrition.

How many of us have Mad Cow gestating inside our brains? I believe a lot of conservatives already do! 8-)

January 26, 2012 at 4:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jerry: Yup, it's a good reason. I'm not a vegetarian, but it makes more sense all the time.

jadedj: They probably have a secret source of quality untainted food. It's only for insiders; not the riffraff.

Mr. C: The Global Crap Exchange gets better all the time.

Jess: But you still have to watch out for those e. coli alfalfa sprouts :)

Snave: You're right, people's awareness isn't changing much. Every time a new book or article comes out, I start thinking people will wake up. And it keeps not happening.

Unfortunately, the people who benefit from factory farming and selling tainted food, probably have tons of money to spend on top-quality food that most people can't afford.

January 26, 2012 at 4:47 PM  
Blogger Jack Jodell said...

Not only has tampering with our meat made it unsafe; it's also made it taste bland and/or terrible too! Ground beef has tasted horrible for years, and getting a delicious, mouth-watering steak is practically impossible today. The taste and texture of beef and pork simply does not measure up to what it did 40 years or so ago!

January 27, 2012 at 5:13 AM  
Blogger jadedj said...

Amen to Jack Jodell's comment!

January 27, 2012 at 5:15 AM  
Blogger Goodtime Charlie said...

Hey! If I want weird chemicals or salmonella or E. coli in my food, then that's my right as an American. I say get the damned government out of my food and back in my bedroom, where it belongs!

January 27, 2012 at 8:15 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Jack: You're right on both counts. It's unsafe and doesn't have the flavor it used to.

jadedj: Amen.

GC: Damn right. Freedom for factory farmers and Big Brother in our bedrooms, as God intended.

January 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

I read an item on MSN the other day that said Americans have reduced the amount of meat in their diet in recent years, and that beef consumption is at a 40-year low. I wouldn't be surprised if concerns about Mad Cow disease, e-coli, cholesterol, and the way so many steers are treated with hormones and antibiotics have something to do with changing tastes.

The young and growing, and those who do hard physical labor, need a fair amount of meat in their diet. Most of us don't and would be wise to reduce the amount we eat as we get older. That's especially true of red meat.

Under any circumstances, what goes into the animals and how they're treated should be strictly regulated and closely monitored, and it's not. The situation is about to get worse because the administration just ordered some 550 Agriculture Dept. offices closed nationwide as part of its budget-cutting program. The department claims it will do all the same inspections without those offices. I find that hard to believe.

January 27, 2012 at 10:18 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: I agree wholeheartedly that treatment of farm animals and what they're fed -- which in turn is what we're fed -- needs to be regulated more closely.

But the irony of this article was too much. For this particular food additive, I would have thought these beef producers would voluntarily stop using it, since they're cutting off their own sales. If millions of people are not buying a product because this product contains a dangerous chemical, it seems like a no-brainer to conclude "oh, if we stop using this chemical, our sales will go up."

Big Ag is too powerful to be regulated closely, but I would have thought their sacred "marketplace" would be a de facto "regulation" of their products.

And yes, I'm sure cutting hundreds of inspectors will not affect our food safety.

January 28, 2012 at 11:27 AM  

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