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Don't Drink the Water

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The Bush administration must be giving thanks to their own personal God (the one they have on retainer and who took an oath to protect and serve only a few good men) that much of the fear factor and blame on our increasingly tainted food supply is being pointed in the direction of other countries, primarily, China.

For an administration that ran on the virtues of accountability and responsibility, taking ownership of one's actions and/or policies, they have failed miserably.  While China may very well be exporting tainted products, who is allowing them entry into the U.S., let alone filtering into the myriad channels of our food supply?

Lately, the White House and media alike, seem to play tag highlighting the corruption of certain countries who have wronged us in some way - either through killing or sickening our pets, frightening our children of the hazards of brushing their teeth, or exposing Latin American countries for their bacteria-laden food products that mysteriously find their way onto our dinner tables.

How is that?

While glaring across the ocean, pointing an increasingly shaky finger in the direction of China, the Bush administration, as well as the mainstream media, have forgotten to look in our own backyard, saying little about the 75,000 Marines and their families possibly poisoned at Camp Lejeune.

Over the last thirty years, these servicemen and their families may have been drinking toxic tap water tainted with poisonous dry cleaning substances that are known to cause cancer and birth defects.  Can't blame China for that one.

And what about the seemingly constant recalls for E.coli tainted beef, poison spinach, and salmonella thick peanut butter?  What foreign country can we blame for this?  For sickening and killing a number of Americans?

We allow some bacteria-crawling fruits, vegetables, seafood and other products to cross our borders from other countries.  It gets our stamp of approval.  But if anyone gets sick, the blame is put squarely on the shoulders of the country of origin -- not the country that allowed access and availability to our supermarket shelves.

That said, the foods that have caused the greatest outbreaks of illness - the beef, spinach, peanut butter -  didn't come from a scary country far, far away, but from our own farms, factories and slaughterhouses.

If the FDA and other governmental "watchdog" agencies cannot do their jobs or take responsibility for the trash piling up in our yards, how on earth do we expect to safeguard any substance imported into this country and put into our collective mouths?

The poisonous tap water at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina was not tainted by an al-Qaeda sleeper cell, a Saddam Hussein loyalist, or undercover Taliban extremists living in tony golf communities abutting the military base.  Nor did the Chinese poison it.  Nor did illegal immigrants from across our "broken borders."

The landmines and skeletons are scattered about our own backyards.  But naturally, Mr. Bush has no knowledge of this.  As he keeps reminding us, the evil-doers and those hell-bent on destroying Americans and our way of life, and as they say in Maine, are "from away."

Perhaps the Woody Allen quote sums it up best, "some people drink deeply from the river of knowledge.  Others only gargle."

Too bad Bush hadn't drunk deeply from the well at Camp Lejeune.  Maybe then he would have a better understanding about where the true dangers really lurk.     

 

A native Californian, Jan Baumgartner is a writer and book editor. After many years along the coast of Maine, she now lives full time in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. She's recently finished editing two books; one, a memoir for a non-profit in (more...)
 
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Sounds as though it is one of the first steps in a... by lucydavis on Thursday, Jun 14, 2007 at 12:12:36 PM