Bushy Ironies: $33M to Protect Cows from Terrorism

Posted by: on Dec 15, 2003 | One Comment

As Wired notes, the Dept of Homeland Security is ponying up $33M to combat terrorist attacks against our crops and livestock.
Strangely absent are any mention of the Republican attacks on food safety rules at the behest of Big Meat and Agri businesses. Food-borne illness kills 5,000 each year and sickens 17 million. Osama would wet himself making those kind of numbers!
In 2001, the Bush administration reversed USDA regulations requiring testing for salmonella and E.coli in meat fed to 27M school children. This March 2002 open letter to the Prez from consumer watchdog groups is especially relevant, noting “even as bioterrorism concerns highlight weaknesses in our existing food-safety programs, key initiatives designed to ensure the safety of meat are languishing and existing safeguards are being eroded.”
Protections of drinking water from pesticide run-off are under attack.
Tip of the iceburg. Look no further than Eric Scholosser’s Fast Food Nation. That book impressed upon me this wonderful phrase, handy while at any MickeyD’s: Acceptable levels of fecal contamination.