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Thursday, May 31, 2007

Protect the Corporations; Damn the Consumers

I ran across this article today and after reading it, I am incensed. Here's the headline: U.S. government fights to keep meatpackers from testing all slaughtered cattle for mad cow.

The Bush administration said Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease. The Agriculture Department tests fewer than 1 percent of slaughtered cows for the disease, which can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef.

This President of ours and this Agriculture Department of ours are supposed to protect the American public. What do they do instead? They protect the conglomerate corporations that line their pockets with dollars. Why do they do this? Apparently, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef decided to voluntarily test all of their beef for Mad Cow Disease, or Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy. Well, the large meat companies think that having well-informed consumers is a bad idea. If consumers know that Creekstone beef is free of BSE, they may opt for that over the meat of the conglomerates forcing the big companies to also test their beef and assure us that it's safe. And that costs money, which will cut into their margins, resulting in less profit and smaller bonuses for the already-fat cats running these companies.

So the Agriculture Department has sued Creekstone Farms, but a federal judge ruled that Creekstone must be allowed to voluntarily test its herds. And now we're in the appeals process, which keeps the ruling from taking effect. Yes, that's right - our very own Agriculture Dept is suing a company that is trying to inform its consumers that its products are safe! It is appalling. During the Gettysburg Address, Abraham Lincoln declared our government to be "of the people, by the people, for the people." Unfortunately, everyday it seems that, contrary to Mr. Lincoln's declaration, that government has perished. We are now ruled by a government (and this isn't a problem that's come about only during the Bush administration) that is more concerned with corporate interests than those of "we the people". We seem to be "of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation."