The Taco Bell food scare is over for now. It was the meat. No wait, it was the green onions. No revise that, it was the lettuce. No, well . . . “We just aren’t really sure.” But it’s over now . . . really it is, really . . well maybe . . .Ok, maybe not.
Recipe for National Disaster?
We have a nation consisting of a growing number of single individual households – working adults with little time or inclination to cook at home. Additionally more and more overworked Moms and Dads are opting to give their children fast food meals at least once a day. Many of our 20-40 something folks are into healthy living which often includes a preference for eating loads of dark leafy veggies and salads at the local salad bar. How many meals do you eat out daily? Can you afford to trust your very life to just any restaurant? Should you risk eating the fresh produce you purchase at the grocery store?
If you’ve got a strong stomach for bad news, you might like to read the December 11, 2006 article published in the New York Times, “Has Politics Contaminated the Food Supply?" by Eric Schlosser. Now I’m not arguing against these frightening stats, but Schlosser is convinced that the Democrats will save us on this one. Remember these are the same Democrats who appear to want an open border (anything crosses without a blink) virtual America.
Here are a few excerpts:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 76 million Americans are sickened, 325,000 are hospitalized, and 5,000 die each year because of something they ate. . . .
Over the past 40 years, the industrialization and centralization of our food system has greatly magnified the potential for big outbreaks. Today only 13 slaughterhouses process the majority of the beef consumed by 300 million Americans . . .
Cutbacks in staff and budgets have reduced the number of food-safety inspections conducted by the F.D.A. to about 3,400 a year — from 35,000 in the 1970s. The number of inspectors at the Agriculture Department has declined to 7,500 from 9,000.
A study published in Consumer Reports last week showed the impact of such policies: 83 percent of the broiler chickens purchased at supermarkets nationwide were found to be contaminated with dangerous bacteria. . . .
Aside from undue corporate influence and inadequate financing, America’s food-safety system is hampered by overlapping bureaucracies. A dozen federal agencies now have some food safety oversight. The Agriculture Department is responsible for meat, poultry and some egg products, while the F.D.A. is responsible for just about everything else.
Ok it’s agreed, this should not be a partisan issue, but leave it to Schlosser to try to convince us all that it’s due to “undue corporate influence” (that’s code for Republican) and that the new Democratic Congress will “reverse a decades-long weakening of regulations and face up to the food-safety threats of the 21st century.” Please . . .
Does Schlosser, or any of the useful idiots on the left, even mention the impact of ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION on the food industry????? In a word, NO.
The Schlosser article continues . . .
Last year, Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut and Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois, both Democrats, introduced an important piece of food-safety legislation that tackles these problems. Their Safe Food Act would create a single food-safety agency with the authority to test widely for dangerous pathogens, demand recalls and penalize companies that knowingly sell contaminated food. . . .
The Safe Food Act deserves strong bipartisan backing. Aside from industry lobbyists and their Congressional allies, there is little public support for the right to sell contaminated food. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, you still have to eat.
Read the opposition to the Safe Food Act. Basically it would pre-empt all state food safety regulations that are more stringent than federal standards.
Here are some interesting facts from Annys Shin of the Washington Post:
The number of produce-related outbreaks of food-borne illness has increased from about 40 in 1999 to 86 in 2004, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Americans are now more likely to get sick from eating contaminated produce than from any other food item, the center said. . .
Several factors have contributed to the rise in outbreaks: greater consumption of fresh produce, especially cut fruits and vegetables; wider distribution; improved electronic reporting of outbreaks; and an aging population more susceptible to food-borne illness. . . .
E. coli O157:H7 has been a particular problem. Unlike the usually benign E. coli bacteria that live in warm-blooded animals and humans, the strain produces toxins that destroy the intestinal lining, leading to bloody diarrhea, kidney failure and, sometimes, death. . .
Although meat and dairy products are regulated by the Department of Agriculture, fruits and vegetables are the responsibility of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the states. But they have jurisdiction only over processing plants. Food safety at the farm level is largely self-regulated. . .
Much of the focus on how to improve standards is on California, where half the nation's fruits and vegetables are grown. . .
In October, executives of eight supermarket chains and distributors, including Safeway, Sysco, Wegmans and Kroger, sent a letter to growers and packers, demanding that they develop a food-safety program for lettuce and other leafy greens by Dec. 15. The program has been drafted but is still being reviewed by regulators. . . .
Ok, so let’s get this straight. Schlosser thinks that the solution will come from the short-sighted Democrats, who will save us all from corporate political corruption, which they would have us believe is the root cause of all failed food inspection. And the Democrat sponsored “Food Safety Act” would, in typical Democratic fashion, hack away at state’s rights and centralize all food inspection under another big-government bureaucracy. And although the biggest concern about food contamination is with produce-related outbreaks out of California where half the nation’s fruits and vegetables are grown and picked by immigrants, you haven’t read anything from the Dems about illegal immigration control in relation to food safety, now have you? And if corporate political corruption is the root of this evil, why is it that the food industry is demanding a food safety program?
Some Sickening Stats to Chew On
According to the CDC and USDA, food poisoning sickens 76 million people every year in the United States, sends 325,000 to the hospital, and kills 5,000.
The amount of imported horticulture products, meanwhile, has increased by 145 percent in the last decade, to $27 billion in 2005 from $11 billion in 1995, according to government statistics.
“Only 1% of imported products are ever inspected!” (KLIF Radio, Jeff Bolton, 12/14/06)
California’s agriculture contributes more than $28 billion annually to the state’s economy. This labor-intensive industry employs approximately one million people each year, most of whom are Mexican immigrants.
Here are some good reads that will turn anyone into a canned veggie eating homebody.
Illegals' presence deepens health concerns in food industry
Public health worries about illegal immigrants are reaching beyond hospitals and emergency rooms and could hit home in the restaurant and food-service sectors.
Undocumented immigrants are prevalent in the food-service industry, filling lower-paying, labor-intensive jobs such as bus boys, waiters, cooks, meat-cutters and food handlers.
That raises public health concerns among some lawmakers, including Scottsdale Congressman J.D. Hayworth and medical experts, because undocumented migrant workers often come from countries and regions with higher communicable disease rates. . .
Illegal Immigrants Are Spreading Dangerous Diseases Across This Nation
Illegal Immigration and Public Health
A Search for Terrorism in Illegal Immigration reveals 238 articles in a New York Times Topic Search.
Next update will include some little-known food/water disinfecting recipes.
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