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

Monday, February 09, 2009

Haven't been paying attention? No kidding.

“It’s easy to fall into the trap of seeing our food safety problems as coming from other countries,” said Robert Tauxe, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official who helped trace the outbreak to the Blakely plant. “This outbreak is telling us we haven’t been paying enough attention.”

Ya think?

The New York Times has a written a relatively comprehensive piece on the peanut butter recall. Rather than break into another 'oversight and protection are dead in this country' rant... I'll let them handle it:

Peanut Case Shows Holes in Safety Net
By MICHAEL MOSS

BLAKELY, Ga. — Raw peanuts were stored next to the finished peanut butter. The roaster was not calibrated to kill deadly germs. Dispirited workers on minimum wage, supplied by temp agencies, donned their uniforms at home, potentially dragging contaminants into the plant, which also had rodents.

Even the roof of the Peanut Corporation of America plant here in rural southwest Georgia was an obvious risk, given that salmonella thrives in water and the facility should have been kept bone dry.

“It leaked when it rained,” said Frank Hardrick, 40, an assistant manager who, along with four other workers, described life inside the plant. “Different crews would come in to work on it, but it would still leak.”

The conditions at the plant, more circa 1955 than 2009, would have been enough to cause alarm in an industry where sanitation can be a matter of life and death, food experts said.

But they were only one element in the salmonella outbreak and subsequent food safety train wreck that started here and swept through the country — claiming eight lives, sickening an estimated 19,000 people in 43 states and spurring an array of recalls, including TV dinners, snack bars labeled organic and ready-made meals for disaster relief.

An examination of the Blakely case reveals a badly frayed food safety net. Interviews and government records show that state and federal inspectors do not require the peanut industry to inform the public — or even the government — of salmonella contamination in its plants. And industry giants like Kellogg used processed peanuts in a variety of products but relied on the factory to perform safety testing and divulge any problems.

At the same time, processed peanuts have been finding their way into more and more foods as a low-cost yet tasty additive, making tainted products harder to track.

Read more...

Rodents! Hard to imagine salmonella thriving in a leaking factory infested with rats.

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