Friday, December 26, 2008

Meaty controversy

Here's an item that turns stereotypes on their heads and should be seen as a profound embarrassment by our food industry and government.
Mexico suspended purchases from 30 U.S. meat plants due to sanitary issues, which sent U.S. cattle and hog prices sharply lower on Friday... Many of the banned plants are owned by the largest U.S. meat companies, including Cargill Inc, Tyson Foods Inc, JBS, Seaboard and Smithfield Foods.

This where thirty years of Republican deregulation and eight years of Bush's dismantling of the inspection agencies have brought us. The country that we often mock as the home of "Monetezuma's revenge" food poisoning now says our meat is too dirty and unsafe to allow into their country. The article goes on to say that the action of the Mexican government more of a protest over new American labeling laws than it is about a genuine concern over food safety, but the fact this excuse is even available to them is a national disgrace.

It is one of my most fervent hopes for the new administration that they will reverse the trend of irresponsible Republican deregulation and make our food, water, workplaces, and transportation safer again. I know many gutless Democrats went along with this, but the ideological drive behind deregulation came from the Republicans. Maybe with the right leadership, the Democrats will protect the interests of all Americans rather than the bank accounts of a privileged few.

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