Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others.

As the patriots of seventy-six did to the support of the Declaration of Independence, so to the support of the Constitution and Laws, let every American pledge his life, his property, and his sacred honor; let every man remember that to violate the law, is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own, and his children's liberty.

Let reverence for the laws, be breathed by every American mother, to the lisping babe, that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges; let it be written in Primers, spelling books, and in Almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. And, in short, let it become the political religion of the nation; and Let the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the grave and the gay, of all sexes and tongues, and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its altars.

While ever a state of feeling, such as this, shall universally, or even, very generally prevail throughout the nation, vain will be every effort, and fruitless every attempt, to subvert our national freedom.

- Abraham Lincoln, January 27, 1838
  Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Killing us softly, Pt. 2

Breaking news from PetConnection blogger, Christie Keith, out on Daily Kos. And here I thought I was actually on top of this FDA, melamine, poisoned food, deadly drug, Chinese tainted disaster. Not hardly. They're way, way ahead of me.

It would seem that the FDA today announced that Tembec, an Ohio-based company, has been adding melamine and related compounds to an ingredient used to make fish, shrimp, cattle, sheep, and goat feed.

Yes, this is an AMERICAN company adding melamine to animal feed. Seriously! Apparently this feed has have been sold internationally as well as domestically. So now other countries will be forced to recall American food.

Feeling proud? You betcha.

And we truly think our corporations are any less creepy than the Chinese? Hey - the Chinese actually sentenced the head of their FDA to death. We can't even impeach... oh never mind.

I'll let Christie Keith tell you about the strange media blackout that followed:

Wed May 30, 2007 at 06:46:33 PM EDT

On May 22, the FDA suspended its until-then twice-weekly media conferences on the melamine contamination investigation, saying there was nothing new to report and they’d let us know when there was.

The night before they suspended the media conferences because there was nothing new to report, UC Davis had found melamine in a previously unrecalled pet food. FDA did subsequently issue a recall notice for this food, although they had not at the time they canceled the media conferences.

On the very day they canceled the media conferences because there was nothing new to report, a news story broke that the FDA’s own labs found melamine in catfish submitted by the state of Arkansas for testing, which was meant for human consumption. That catfish had been imported from China.

This was the first time melamine was detected in food meant for human consumption, but there still has been almost zero coverage of this in the mainstream media. Would there have been if the media conferences hadn’t been canceled?

Still wonder who the media is really working for? Democracy? Oversight? Anyone?

Christie Keith continues:

Now we find out that four days before canceling the ongoing press conferences because there was nothing new to report, on May 18, FDA learned that a US company had been adding melamine to its binding agent, which is used to make commercial fish and shrimp feed as well as livestock feed for cattle, goats, and sheep — not only in the US, but we’ve been exporting this stuff.

Some of the reporters at the media conference sounded pretty aggravated -- I especially liked the guy from the Washington Times who kept pushing for "FDA food safety czar" David Acheson to share how he felt, really felt, about the food safety official in China who just got the death penalty, and ABC News' David Kerley was absolutely relentless with his questions -- but I still want to know, where the hell has the legacy media been since the press conferences got canceled?

Not only have we been reporting these things on PetConnection -- a freaking PET BLOG, albeit one run by nationally syndicated columnists who are actual reporters, but still -- but I posted about the catfish here on DKos last Tuesday. David Goldstein has been posting about this on horsesass.org, too. It's not like there isn't a story here. It's not like the media doesn't have this story. But literally overnight, the minute FDA stops holding press conferences, it all just stopped.

Of course it stopped. My God, imagine if this one got out. Americans might (gulp) stop trusting their Bushie government...

Beam me up Scottie. This is getting beyond belief.

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