Sunday, February 17, 2008

143 million pounds of beef on the wall

CNN has reported that 143 million pounds of beef are being recalled. This beef includes meat from cows that were "downed" - unable to walk, many carried to the slaughter by forklifts. Dr. Dick Raymond, USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety, is quoted as saying "We don't think there is a health hazard, but we do have to take this action." Evidently this is because they think most of the meat has already been eaten. Of course, most of the meat went to school food programs, prisons, and Native Americans.

The Bush administration has spent years trying to dump regulations and cut funding for government organizations like the FDA (as recently as 2006, until public outcry caused a policy change).

Of course, Ron Paul is on the forefront of this issue. He says "I oppose legislation that increases the FDA‘s legal powers. FDA has consistently failed to protect the public from dangerous drugs, genetically modified foods, dangerous pesticides and other chemicals in the food supply. Meanwhile they waste public funds attacking safe, healthy foods and dietary supplements." Go Ron! Keep us safe. Yeah, right.

In the meantime, will a fine keep Hallmark from doing this again? Or prevent anyone else from doing it? How long does it take to produce 143 million pounds of beef? They've been doing this for a while, clearly, so the practice is well-entrenched and must be visible to management. I propose a prison term for the CEO. If I did this as an individual, I'd be wearing an orange jump-suit, so why not apply this to the Corporate perp?