Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Beagle Nation 

If Upton Sinclair were still among us, we would have to buy him a nice stiff drink. From Weremensch, via Sisyphus Shrugged:
It is a truth barely appreciated that government not only matters, but it is a matter of life and death that the right people run it. Lest you think that this is hyperbole, mosey on over to the USDA website and read their official release on the safety of deli meats and sausages. Yes, that's right; it is official government policy that ready to eat meat products, hot dogs, and etc are not fit for human consumption unless they are thoroughly cooked again. Listeria can kill you, and the USDA no longer stops companies from shipping products tainted with it. Didn't notice that rule on your last package of bologna? No surprise; the rule is only there to cover Republican asses from lawsuits. The government warned you; it's not their fault that you didn't pry open the file cabinet in the disused lavatory in the basement.

Now read a bit more carefully. How did these products get contaminated? By the simple action of allowing animal shit to contaminate the food after it was cooked. Yes, a plant so badly run that this is a reasonable possibility is perfectly acceptable under Bush and the GOP. You see, Reagan and Bush I slashed inspection procedures so badly that such undetected contamination was possible. Under Clinton, a rules change was pushed through (against absolute Republican opposition in Congress) to stop it. Uncooked animal shit was no longer going to be legal in school lunches (one of the main recipients of lunch meats, under a USDA program). Happily for the meat processing companies, the Republicans slowed the process so successfully that Congress was able to kill the new rules outright when Bush II took office (they hadn't been in the Federal Register long enough).
And we thought we were eating straight protein. Anyone know the carb count of fecal matter?

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