Wednesday, March 15, 2006

What's a little E. coli among friends

It's clear that under Bush and the Republicans, science has taken a back seat to politics and money.

From evolution being pushed aside in favor of “intelligent design,” to political appointees at NASA downplaying the dangers of global warming. From hacks running FEMA and dropping the ball disastrously after Katrina, to the FDA stalling on the plan B morning after pill, even though medical experts say there is no reason it can't be approved for over-the-counter sales, the Republican war on science is a mixture of right-wing Christian ideology, and GOP legislators currying financial favor for their big corporate contributors.

And it appears it's the latter of these that is behind proposed legislation which will likely mean your food supply is going to get more dangerous.

As Harold Myerson points out in The Washington Post, while everyone was focusing on the Dubai ports deal last week, the GOP Congress was quietly hard at work on a plan that could endanger the nation's food supply.

Last Wednesday the House passed the National Uniformity for Food Act, which might better be named the Swallow at Your Own Risk Act. In one swoop, the bill preempts roughly 200 state laws governing food safety.


The other problem is the FDA itself, which under the Bush administration has given "political science" a whole new meaning. It's the FDA that overruled its scientists to keep the morning-after pill off the shelves of America's pharmacies. It requires absolutely no leap of imagination to envision an FDA that comforts the food industry and afflicts consumers.

It's the food industry, of course, that cooked up this legislative swill. The bill's backers include most supermarket chains, and such food giants as Cargill, Coca-Cola, ConAgra and Kraft -- mega-contributors all. Its opponents include not just the usual consumer and environmental groups but a bipartisan group of 39 state attorneys general.

You really have to wonder what kind of country these people are envisioning for the future. The federal government in debt, unable to supply even basic services, a corporate oligarchy running everything, with CEOs making 500 times what the average worker makes, and a cowed and beaten middle class, whose jobs are being shipped overseas, and workers grateful for the scraps of having any kind of employment, with the perks once accepted as norm for the American worker – pension plans, and company paid health insurance – a long distant memory of an earlier time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is scary and typical of what these people are doing to us. The democrats have to win the next election or I think we are all in a LOT of trouble.

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