Friday, October 18


As the news filters down to Joe Average that we've just had the largest recall in US history, the tangents are beginning to multiply. Some of the tainted meat, it turns out, was fed to kids in School Lunch Programs, and some went to Snow Ball Foods, which today issued its own recall of about 300,000 pounds of Executive Chef Homestyle Oven Roasted Turkey Breast. Executive Chef sounds about right - if it's an Enron Executive. Speaking of CEO-bashing, Molly Ivins gets right to the point with the title of her column, Poop on poultry. She fails, unfortunately, to see the connection between reactionary, careless meat profiteers and progressives' continual bankrolling of them by purchasing their products. She does of course call for stricter regulations, which is just what USDA chief Ann Veneman promised today in an excuse-laden speech (oh, it was the risk assessment that was slowing you down? What was the risk that was greater than killing people with contaminated meat?) headlined here as "USDA to whomp up Listeria testing in wake of recall."

But let's not forget listeria's partner in crime, E.coli, which parents of sickened and dead children have been raging about to congress, demanding tighter rules. While most Americans are clueless about the feces in their meat, one parent sums up what's wrong with the current attitude: "The meat companies let cow manure get in the meat, and then they tell the victims that if we had only cooked it to 160 degrees my child would not have died." The grammar's not perfect, but you try doing a better job when it happens to you. And it's happening to more and more people, as the Emmpak/Cargill recall (a mere 3.3 million pounds, remember?) seems to have sickened at least seven people in Michigan. Hey - this stuff happens.

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