Sunday, April 22, 2007



One of the fundamental tenets of the disastrous Bush Regime-- and of the far right ideology that underpins it-- is the destruction of the regulatory agencies meant to protect consumers from unscrupulous businessmen out to make a quick buck at the expense of public safety. The predatory businessmen-- be it Ken Lay and Jefffrey Skilling of Enron, Bernie Ebbers and Scott Sullivan of WorldCom, the John Rigas family of Adelphia, Jack Abramoff of BushCo, Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz of Tyco, Adam Kidan of SunCruz Casinos, Richard Scrushy of HealthSouth, Frank Quattrone of Credit Suisse First Boston [UPDATE: DWT has been informed by Quattrone's attorneys that he is not in prison and that his conviction was overturned by the Court of Appeals], Joseph Nacchio of Qwest, Sanjay Kumar of Computer Associates, Walter Forbes of Cendent, and hundreds of other convicted and unconvicted (those listed are all convicted and serving prison time) crooked Republicans-- who have financed the Bush Regime ascendancy have demanded-- and received-- a hand in reining in the ability of the government to protect workers and consumers.

And, speaking of Tyco, our pets.

Today's Washington Post reports that the purposely enfeebled Bush Regime FDA has finally opened a criminal investigation into what their headline writer calls a pet food scare." As usual, the Regime dragged its feet on this-- giving the guilty parties plenty of time to destroy evidence-- and only acted when forced to do so by revelations that the lax regulations have led directly to tainted meat entering the human food chain.
More than 100 hogs that ate contaminated food at a custom slaughterhouse in California's Central Valley were sold to private individuals and to an unnamed licensed facility in Northern California during the past 2 1/2 weeks. The hogs consumed feed that contained rice protein tainted with melamine, the industrial chemical that has sickened and killed dogs and cats around the world.

I wish I could say that only Republicans eat pork and that they deserve everything they get for inflicting this tragedy on us all. Unfortunately, plenty of normal people eat pork as well and are now victims of Republican greed, avarice, treachery and ideological mania.
Stephen Sundlof, director of the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine, said criminal charges are a possibility, but he declined to say whether there is reason to believe any individual or organization intentionally adulterated pet food...

Five companies received the contaminated Chinese rice protein concentrate. Three firms have identified themselves by announcing recalls; the other two are not publicly known because the FDA will not name them until the companies say they used contaminants in their products.

More than six other companies, some of which make pet food under a variety of labels, have announced recalls because melamine-contaminated wheat gluten was used in their products, starting with a March 16 recall. Wheat gluten is by far the larger ingredient in American pet food, the FDA said.

So as the FDA decides to protect criminal businesses' reputations at the expense of consumers and pets, and is already making the excuse that "they didn't do it on purpose," hundreds of dogs and cats are dying at the hand of what Rick Perlstein has so brilliantly dubbed, the e. coli conservatives. Nice going... Bushie.


Tomorrow's WAPO continues the discussion about how the Bush Regime has wrecked the regulatory agencies we pay for to protect us. Elizabeth Williamson writes that "The Food and Drug Administration has known for years about contamination problems at a Georgia peanut butter plant and on California spinach farms that led to disease outbreaks that killed three people, sickened hundreds, and forced one of the biggest product recalls in U.S. history, documents and interviews show. Overwhelmed by huge growth in the number of food processors and imports, however, the agency took only limited steps to address the problems and relied on producers to police themselves, according to agency documents."

Allowing Business to police itself is the Republican way. It doesn't work, not in 2007 in a mass-based society. "Congressional critics and consumer advocates said both episodes show that the agency is incapable of adequately protecting the safety of the food supply... Tomorrow, a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will hold a hearing on the unprecedented spate of recalls."
"This administration does not like regulation, this administration does not like spending money, and it has a hostility toward government. The poisonous result is that a program like the FDA is going to suffer at every turn of the road," said Rep. John D. Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the full House committee. Dingell is considering introducing legislation to boost the agency's accountability, regulatory authority and budget.

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At 2:47 PM, Blogger peg said...

and then there's this...

Consumers Union says USDA cut in Mad Cow testing puts public health at risk.

At 11:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Letting business regulate itself hasn't worked in a very long time. Why do the Republicans think we have USDA standards and an FDA? It isn't so that there are more jobs for managers: it's to protect the public from the guys who think the easy way to make money is to use the cheapest materials and charge for the best. IE: The corner-cutting laissez-faire free-market capitalism-is-everything guys who like to vote for people like Bush.

At 11:14 AM, Blogger skaterina said...

one of my dogs became crippled up a few years ago / two vets plus xrays showed no problem / then i read about how harmful commercial kibble is / i changed their diets to no kibble at all and am able to get "dog meal" from a local butcher / so they eat raw heart,liver, etc allegedly from local sources (we are in a rural area) mixed 50/50 with raw carrots, parsley, and garlic / the crippled dog was soon recovered and you wd never know how bad off she had been / my cat eats PetPromise kibble, which has no meat byproducts or other hormones / also rec by Andrew Weill

At 2:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope there will be a lawsuit re: pet food contamination--one that will result in tighter standards and bring scrutiny to ChimpCo deregs. Some of the contaminated pet food (ex, Hill's) was actually recalled in Hong Kong and Taiwan as well. So basically these companies are not only poisoning Candian and U.S. pets but all over Asia as well.

At 9:03 PM, Blogger The Sanity Inspector said...

Quibble: Sanjay Kumar will go to prison in August, after he sells off his assets to pay his fine.

At 6:21 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that we all should do something to stop selling the contaminated food!!!


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