What you don’t know can’t be litigated
Don’t worry, China values will protect you
May 27, 2008
USA Today reported earlier this month that the Bush administration is urging a federal appeals court to stop meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease. And CBS News reported that a recent poll says 53 percent of Americans say they won’t buy food that has been genetically modified. But most foods contain genetically modified ingredients and there are no laws requiring food makers to label the food and tell you. Debate ramps up over your right to know what you’re ingesting, and the government and food companies’ rights to keep it a secret.
“Additional testing for mad cows would probably result in finding more of them and make the public uncomfortable, just like labeling food that contains genetically modified ingredients would turn some people off,” said a government food inspector, keeping his name a secret just like the ingredients in the food he inspects. “A comfortable citizenry is critical to maintaining social peace and economic growth and nothing should be allowed to get in the way of consumer demand. Besides, if anything comes up that the government thinks you should know about, we’ll just issue a statement early Saturday mornings and if you’re paying attention you’ll probably hear about it.”
Not everyone thinks that keeping what we put into our bodies a secret is a good thing. “We have labels on food now that read like a chemists inventory list, what’s the harm in telling us if in addition to the ingredients the food we’re buying has never been tested for mad cow prions but it does contain unnatural items that have been modified at the genetic level,” asked Nancy Neutron, a clothing store worker often found reading labels and pondering existence, time and space. “We have a right to know what’s in the stuff we eat whether we understand it or not. Let us figure out if it’s good for us. Employers have a right to drug test so they can know whether employees are on drugs, but consumers don’t have a right to know if the burger we eat has altered DNA or mad cow prions? What kind of crazy shit is this?”
USA Today reported that less than 1% of slaughtered cows in the U.S. are tested for mad cow disease under Agriculture Department guidelines. The agency argues that widespread testing does not guarantee food safety and could result in a false positive that scares consumers. The government seeks to reverse a lower court ruling that allowed Kansas-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef to conduct more comprehensive testing to satisfy demand from overseas customers in Japan and elsewhere. The Bush administration urged a federal appeals court to stop meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease, but a skeptical judge questioned whether the government has that authority. Chief Judge David Sentelle seemed to agree with Creekstone’s contention that the additional testing would not interfere with agency regulations governing the treatment of animals. “All they want to do is create information,” Sentelle said, noting that it’s up to consumers to decide how to interpret the information. The district court’s ruling last year in favor of Creekstone was supposed to take effect June 1, 2007, but the Agriculture Department’s appeal has delayed the testing so far.
CBS News reported that according to a recent CBS News/New York Times poll, 53 percent of Americans say they won’t buy food that has been genetically modified. While most packaged and processed foods do contain genetically modified ingredients, the labels don’t have to say so. Today, more than 90 percent of the U.S. soybean crop is genetically modified – had its DNA altered to increase production and withstand chemical weed killers like roundup. Nearly three-quarters of all corn planted in the U.S. is genetically modified. Nutritionist Marion Nestle, a former FDA advisor, says “The industry that makes genetically modified foods fought hard to make sure that it wasn’t labeled. They didn’t want it labeled because they were terrified that if it were labeled, nobody would buy it.” The FDA does not require “disclosure of genetic engineering techniques…on the label,” calling GMOs the “substantial equivalent” of conventional crops. A new CBS News poll found that 87% of consumers would like GMO ingredients to be labeled, just as they are in Europe, Japan and Australia. Yet the U.S. Congress has never even held a vote on the issue, to give shoppers the opportunity to exercise their most basic right – to make a choice. Some experts say that freedom and choice are over-rated in America and needs to be throttled.
“All citizens of countries including those in the U.S. are better off when the government tells them what they can and can’t do and what they need to know when they need to know it,” said Wi Noe Bestt, a Chinese government official currently managing the relocation of U.S. manufacturing to China and Chinese communist values to the U.S. government. “If people have too much information they can react in ways that are uncomfortable for experts in government who know better. In China we don’t allow litigation of the many things that the U.S. does so the risk of uncontrolled knowledge in the U.S. is even greater there. We are working to help America and the world to understand that China’s ways our better. And when you experience the ass-kicking that our DNA boosted athletes lay on you at this year’s Beijing Olympic Games, you’ll begin to understand that we are the new dominance in the world and that makes us right. As our economy grows along with our military might, you will soon understand that mad cow disease and genetically modified foods are the least of your worries. But have no fear. We are here to help and our dominance will help insure that we do.”
In other news, MSNBC reported that obesity is contributing to global warming. Their article said that overweight people require more fuel to transport themselves and the food that they eat, which will add to food shortages, higher energy prices and more greenhouse gas. No word on why that information is more important than knowing if your food will make you mad or inadvertently alter your DNA code.
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