SMOKINCHOICES (and other musings)

January 6, 2016

U.S. guts meat-labeling law

Why does (USA) take orders from the WTO 

We are a sovereign nation, total and complete within ourselves!  Between our Bill of Rights and (seemingly) inspired Constitution, we have all we need to  be able to run a sound government and have an ethical code of behavior for the rest of us to use in order to live peacefully together.   Mostly, it  works, guaranteeing  ALL  many rights and freedoms to  which we mostly are-fondly-attached.  When  routine, normal rules and laws are denied to any of us.. .we will rebel, rise up, coalesce and come together to protect ourselves.  Through proper mechanisms. . . justice will almost always  prevail.  (almost  I say – because  we are only human . . we aren’t perfected yet).  By  and large on paper – if not actually, . . .IT WORKS  –  as we have been the “Ideal”  other nations point to, admire and want to emulate.  On paper, it IS good here.  

What doesn’t ‘show’ in all  the above description is the elevation of the power of the MEGA BUCKS to make the choices we used to make ourselves – – BY OUR VOTES personally, to the best of our ability to do.  We knew it was important, because it was OUR COUNTRY   – –   O U R S !   Having this stake came with responsibility to do so;  by and large we did for a great many years.    Laws started to change as huge corporate structures were successful in cleverly aligning the  lawmakers to their  priorities in a very propitious manner benefiting them both.  Over the last several decades  we have been realizing that no matter how we vote, who we put into office nor what they promised while running for office, our constituency needs weren’t being met or listened to.   Everybody likes to say Washington is ‘broken’ . . . but is that really what it is?  Isn’t it more like corruption?      

Read your Bible,  or seek answers from God (by whatever name you call him/her). . . the fault lies in what the heart cherishes. .  .  or mind, as the case may be. It seems that in many,  the heart seems heavily crusted over with crass materialism.  .  .  which stated bluntly, is just G R E E D .  Somehow, we gotta get the reigns back in our hands and eliminate the death-grip the Corporate structure has on our legislative process.  Perhaps we actually DO need to tighten regulatory restrictions in order  to restore balance.  

Between  GMO’s,  Agribusiness and BIG PhRMA,  it is amazing perhaps that we have any degree of health at all – – for we are what we eat. Today, what most of us are eating and ingesting one way or another is anything but healthy.  The experts confuse us and rarely agree on anything, leaving us scratching our heads on how and what to eat to really BE healthy.  ORGANIC is the natural state of food occurring as nature intended.  When I was born, grew up, married and raised a family, organic was never discussed as  it  would never have occurred to anyone to use that term.  Why would they?   Food was food, and it was good.  Most everybody was healthy, barring accidents.   Of course, the middle class was the biggest and were proud,  productive and able to buy modest homes and provide for good lives. Stuff Changes. Now, unless one buys organic and eats mostly raw, there isn’t too much chance for decent health.  Eating processed anything is NOT healthy.  But our class is struggling  to even be in the middle class. . .few can afford raw or organic, for money is scarce and there are many bellies to feed.  These are part of the reasons that Vilsack’s Agriculture gets all  those subsidized arrangements to grow wheat and corn and soy (ALL GMO and therefore, not healthy), because we can more cheaply feed the hungry masses.   What a solution!    

I have a few ideas which maybe could bring some  positive changes.     How about changing rules and laws on those huge corporate structures who have made their fortunes here, but over the last few decades have closed-up shop and shutdown factories  and sent the jobs overseas leaving industries and workers of those industries  – I dunno,   up-a-tree or sold-down-the-river,  your choice of words for the concept.   But then, they remain here and send all income earned by their operations offshore anywhere else other than here.  PAY NO  TAXES.  Is that Okay?  Ethical?   In my mind it never will be.    When my HP died, I got a MAC mini. Did you see “60 Minutes” recently?  Had a big story on Apple.   Was an eye-opener!  ALL the labor force other than the big brain department (design etc) is done  overseas and resources sent to the Cayman Islands.  Does this bother me?  As soon as I get it paid off, I’m getting rid of it and then buying an American made  – built-in-USA computer.   Yeah, it bothers me. . . so much  for those who used America to grow a healthy business, using our people, roads, ethical practices and all the other advantages of living here.  Then to save money sends jobs abroad >  to save even more money, . . income offshore.

Many of us have figured out what seems to be wrong with being blessed with living in this glorious country. The “law” seems to be  applied indiscriminately to the enormously wealthy while acerbically harsher to the lower classes.  (Like in the case of America’s near melt-down  in 2008 that Obama inherited,  of the total financial condition of our banking system and taking us all with it much like the days of the Great Depression in 1929.  It wreaked great harm on our people,  losing everything from homes, kid’s college plans and placed inordinate burdens on all to pull us out of this hell.  The games these banking geniuses were playing would never have been allowed  if Clinton had not  relaxed the rules and deleted others.   It started there, but our form of justice allowed the slate to be cleansed with huge fines and no one was prosecuted.  Rules were not corrected – we’re still talking about it.  None of the heads of all those banks went to jail.  In fact, most have greatly increased their sizes and growth, in volume and financial strength once again and still getting away with their ‘games’).  Yet regular kids can spend years in jail due to being found possessing drugs. . . not hurting anyone.  But, what do I know?

Hard to digest if indeed, we are all equal under the law.  So there is that.  A little bit of “ditto” with regard to science.  Open minds (only) can survive in science where facts speak for themselves by evidence thru trial and effort and error leading to evidence. With Pharmaceuticals, claims are made for safety, but only claims are necessary . accepted by FDA,  put on market subjecting millions to risk, loss and death.  It happens  daily; the injuries, the addictions,  needless death.   Only after too much carnage  does the  truth ‘sometimes’ come to light.  Trials were skewed; (some scientists were walking away because of the skewed efforts to which they couldn’t put their name lest they be associated with it);  products withdrawn.  And yet these same corporations have no legal liability for they have been protected by faulty legal decisions which they continue to operate under.  No part of it fair or ethical,  tho said to be legal. .  . so there is also that.  But mandating that all kids be vaccinated or be shunned by the school system, many, many doctors now demanding that children be vaccinated or seek doctoring elsewhere.  This overrides (nullifies) parental rights;  endangers children, and rates of autism and neurological damage is every where and still growing, leaving parents with often no where to go, no options. And no recourse.  Just some fluke of fate?  Can’t  wrap my mind around that.

Not carping here because I’m just a negative person — I’m not.  I see solutions everywhere that massive amounts of money could be SAVED.  Expand Social Security to everyone – cradle to grave, no more insurance to deal with.  Stop  worrying so much about pharmaceuticals;  in most cases – completely unnecessary.  BIG PhRMA is new on the scene, but oh,  how fast they  have taken over and somehow grown the moxie to claim total ownership of anything remotely associated with bringing about healing in any form.  Its their way or NO way. So unrealistic.  Healing has been going on for as long as man has been on earth (guess thats around 5000 years now, right?). . .or it it 500 million years? oh well, what does that matter?  just more words. Holistic or Naturopathic physicians still value nature’s yield and bounty and seem to understand fully the indisputable relationship of man to nature and the relevance of the totality to health.  Never tire of restating Hippocrates, the father of medicine’s  oft repeated words. . . “let food be thy medicine, and medicine, thy food.”  If only. . . .   .      

Then moving on to the food;  Every effort should be made to insure that food be grown in the most natural, chemical-free method  imaginable.  So if we eliminate the  chemicals  in RX meds,  attack the pollution on farming and allow farmers to get back to growing stuff like they used  to – organically!  IMAGINE THAT!  If everybody starts getting healthy by simply eating well, there won’t be any necessity for meds at all. Or perhaps I should say, very little.  Who  wouldn’t choose to be well if they just knew how.  How about stopping with  GMO everything and magically increase our chance at health? No need to  give all those subsidies  to GMO garbage no one actually wants.  How about helping out the organic guys – – they’re working hard and earn little more than the  sweat off their brow.  That could be a true help.

I don’t eat much  meat as it is because I can’t afford it.  And I read the labels, my beef must be free range and grass fed right up to slaughter.  Stopped eating most everything from lakes, rivers or oceans (and I love it all) because all the  waters are so contaminated now and I wouldn’t consider frankenfish.  Without labels I can positively trust,  I will now, no longer buy any animal products.   I’ll miss them and rue the day my government allowed this to happen.  I fear this is the same ole,  same ole  – – GREED,  as in government corruption!  When did we cede these CHOICES to some foreign  authority and why?   I think a lot of us would be willing to go to war  over this.  I never gave consent and won’t accept it.  This ruling protects only those who need darkness to survive, . . the corporate structure  It has nothing whatever to do with protecting people  or their health, . . .in fact, its gonna hurt us all. . . .       .        .    goodnite,   Jan


guess this article got my blood boiling a bit.

Amid pressure, U.S. guts meat-labeling law

By Mary Clare Jalonick    

Associated Press  

WASHINGTON — It’s now harder to find out where your beef or pork was born, raised and slaughtered.After more than a decade of wrangling, Congress repealed a labeling law last month that required retailers to include the animal’s country of origin on packages of red meat. It’s a major victory for the meat industry, which had fought the law in Congress and the courts since the early 2000s.

  • Lawmakers said they had no choice but to get rid of the labels after the World Trade Organization repeatedly ruled against them. The WTO recently authorized Canada and Mexico, which had challenged the law, to begin more than $1 billion in economic retaliation against the United States.
  • “U.S. exporters can now breathe a sigh of relief,” said Republican Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, chairman of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee. The longtime opponent of the labels helped add the repeal to a massive year-end spending bill. After the law was passed, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the government immediately would stop requiring the labels.

Consumer groups say the repeal is a disappointment just as consumers are asking for more information on their food packages. Advocates say the labels help people make more-informed buying decisions and encourage purchases of American meat.

Before repeal, the labels told shoppers that a particular cut of meat was “born in Canada, raised and slaughtered in the United States” or “born, raised and slaughtered in the United States.” Congress first required the labels in 2002 amid fears of mad cow disease from imported cattle.

  • Consumer groups criticized Congress for repealing the law for ground meat and pork in addition to the fresh cuts of meat that were the subject of WTO concerns.

The bill was “a holiday gift to the meatpacking industry from Congress,” complained the advocacy group Food and Water Watch. Meatpackers who buy Mexican cattle were some of the law’s most aggressive opponents.

The repeal also was a big defeat for lawmakers from northern border states where U.S. ranchers compete with Canadian ranchers. Those lawmakers insisted on including the labeling in the 2002 and 2008 farm bills and this year fought to replace it with a voluntary program once the WTO rulings came down.

  • Roger Johnson of the National Farmers Union, which has strong membership in those states, said the group was “furious” about the repeal.

“Packers will be able to once again deliberately deceive consumers,” Johnson said.

Still, there was some good news for food-labeling advocates in the bill. Despite an aggressive push by the food industry, lawmakers decided not to add language that would have blocked mandatory labeling of genetically modified ingredients.




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