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.