"Monsanto and the FDA refuse to acknowledge recent research directly linking elevated levels of IGF-1 to increased risk of breast and prostate cancer. Monsanto and the FDA colluded in 1993 and '94 to block labeling requirements for rBGH milk. Consequently, the average dairy consumer has no idea if they're increasing their own risk of getting cancer.
Since 1994, every industrialized country in the world except the U.S. -- including Canada, Japan, and all fifteen nations of the European Union -- has banned rBGH milk. The United Nations Food Standards Body refuses to certify that rBGH is safe. Even the WTO, or more specifically its food standards body, the Codex Alimentarius, has refused to endorse Monsanto's claim that rBGH is safe for use in the dairy supply. In the face of facts and the majority opinion of the global political and scientific community, Monsanto and the [FDA] continue to endorse rBGH milk for general consumption, at the same time scratching their heads about increases in breast cancer deaths and the continually declining age of puberty for girls. ..."
Given what the FDA really is, why do any progressives blindly trust it to handle disease outbreaks and to do recalls (which can easily be used to destroy farmers)?
"Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) was able to get a provision into the Food and Drug Administration Globalization Act of 2008 that would give the FDA the power to issue mandatory recalls of contaminated food."
It is the "mandatory recall" that is the problem. That is a heavy club for destroying any small producer. In Pennsylvania and California, it has been used by the Departments of Agriculture against raw milk producers and then "it turns out," they were wrong and there was no problem after all. Meanwhile, the small producers couldn't sell anything, they lost customers, and people were driven out of business. Farmers live in fear of this happening, and distrust the USDA's motives entirely. They see who runs the USDA and who loses out.
Recalls are a weapon that can be to destroy those competing with corporations, and land particularly brutally on small producers. And as with the tomatoes, the USDA or FDA, if they truly wished to protect those family farms and were not interested in writing more power into a Bush bill, would simply put out a message to the public to heat any milk they are concerned about for 5 minutes, or that the tomatoes are safe if made into a sauce. Instead, they whip the public up into a frenzy of fear, and get them to push politicians to write regulations that will ONLY benefit corporate interests. And producers are forced to throw away valuable product.
Continuing with the Washingtonpost.com piece:
"But she has yet to get a provision into the bill that would require the agency to devise a food tracing system."
Excuse me. The bill would allow total recalls but with no way to actually track to where the problem is? So, it will allow recalls based on whim?
At least it would allow the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to stop making harassing phone calls to raw milk producers, trying to get them to say their child with salmonella poisoning drank raw milk when it didn't. With this bill, they could just demand a recall of their products because they "think" (or have decided) that's the source of the problem. If they turn out after an analysis to be wrong, oops, sorry for the thousands of dollars of loss sales and the frightened customers who go elsewhere. Do that a few rounds and that farmer is done.
Again, a reminder that salmonella is easily killed by simply heating raw milk a few minutes but the FDA has put out nothing on that, to either reassure the public or to educate them or to save farmers. Instead, it is working to BAN raw milk nationwide. No other food, despite all those that have caused disease outbreaks is treated like this. And not even alcohol or cigarettes. That should be enough to make clear this is not about food safety.
No one should be pushing for more power for the FDA. Period.
While they have inflamed the public over people getting sick and one person dying, what have they done - at all - to alert the public to the increase in tubular breast cancer since the introduction of rBGH? Where are vital studies on the impact of a pervasive food (milk - ice cream, yogurt, cheese) coming from a genetically engineered hormone - the first genetically engineered product ever approved by the FDA?
Doctors were already seeing a link to cancers before the introduction of rBGH and warning against it, and 36 countries around the world ban it, so where are the studies on how many people have died from breast, colon or prostate cancer since the Monsanto-run FDA put it on the market? 100? 1000? 10,000? More?
This is the FDA that wants more control.
So, when you feed worried about food and want to turn to the FDA for more regulations, keep a few things in mind:
1. If you are a liberal, remember that you distrust everything else the Bush administration say is urgent, so why are you so gullible now?
2. If you are a conservative, you distrust regulations. Good for you. Talk to your liberal friends and start telling them how those regulations are wiping out the small guy.
3. You can just heat the damn food for a few minutes and it's fine, so quit letting food scares have you push for draconian government/corporate measures - unless they are designed to regulate the industry and not the little guy.
4. Recalls are a powerful weapon in the hands of corporate/industrial agriculture, easy to use to destroy any small producers they wish, and thus easily available (as they have proven themselves ready) to destroy their competition, the sustainable food movement.
4. And there is a good alternative treatment (wouldn't you know?) for salmonella, and it comes from milk (raw milk is rich in the pro-biotics that destroy salmonella). Notice that your friendly corporate Big Pharma Monsanto-influenced FDA is not telling you this and is, in fact, pushing the criminalization of nutrients in Canada right now and is destroying vitamin companies here has been providing and educating on these natural alternatives:
A number of alternative treatments have been recommended for food poisoning. One very effective treatment that is stongly recommended is supplementation with Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. bulgaricus, and/or Bifidobacterium to restore essential bacteria in the digestive tract. These preparations are available as powders, tablets, or capsules from health food stores; yogurt with live L. acidophilus cultures can also be eaten. Fasting or a liquid-only diet is often used for food poisoning. Homeopathic treatment can work very effectively in the treatment of Salmonella food poisoning. The appropriate remedy for the individual and his/her symptoms must be used to get the desired results. Some examples of remedies commonly used are Chamomilla, Nux vomica, Ipecac, and Colchicum. Juice therapy, including carrot, beet, and garlic juices, is sometimes recommended, although it can cause discomfort for some people. Charcoal tablets can help absorb toxins and remove them from the digestive tract through bowel elimination. A variety of herbs with antibiotic action, including citrus seed extract, goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), and Oregon grape (Mahonia aquifolium), may also be effective in helping to resolve cases of food poisoning.
Even though Salmonella food poisoning is a bacterial infection, most practitioners do not treat simple cases with antibiotics. Studies have shown that using antibiotics does not usually reduce the length of time that the patient is ill. Paradoxically, it appears that antibiotics do, however, cause the patient to shed bacteria in their feces for a longer period of time. In order to decrease the length of time that a particular individual is a carrier who can spread the disease, antibiotics are generally not given.
In situations where an individual has a more severe type of infection with Salmonella bacteria, a number of antibiotics may be used. Chloramphenicol was the first antibiotic successfully used to treat Salmonella food poisoning. It is still a drug of choice in developing countries because it is so inexpensive, although some resistance has developed to it. Ampicillin and trimethoprim-sulfonamide have been used successfully in the treatment of infections caused by chloramphenicol-resistant strains. Newer types of anibiotics, such as cephalosporin or quinolone, are also effective. These drugs can be given by mouth or through a needle in the vein (intravenously) for very ill patients. With effective antibiotic therapy, patients feel better in 24-48 hours, the temperature returns to normal in three-five days, and the patient is generally recovered by 10-14 days.
It is imperative to stop ANY more power being given to the Bush administration. Currently, they are setting up a system to limit your access to real food and to natural supplements that are the foundation of the alternative health movement, and they are trying to block importation of supplements and natural products from abroad. If successful, you will be living locked solely within a corporate food and drug system. That is where they are taking things.
Just as the terrorist threat is being used by this administration to gain power over us, food scares are being the used in precisely the same way. And the power gained by these multinational corporations over food and drugs is already badly harming us and others around the world.
Contact your Congress people and tell them you are opposed to any more power being given to the FDA (and that word "globalization" in the bill is just hair-raising in its implications). Send Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) this article, thanking her for caring but informing her that the FDA needs to BE regulated itself, not set loose with more regulations that will harm family farmers and are designed to cut off Americans' access to any health care they choose (in this case, vitamins and supplements).