#1 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, December 11th, 2013 13:17
#2 By: IMB, December 11th, 2013 13:32
This is ridiculous theater. You don't give corporations the "option" to make less money. The FDA needs to put some goddamn teeth into the regulation and not give anyone a choice. This is killing people.
#3 By: greenberger, December 11th, 2013 14:01
To state the obvious, the reason the FDA is making it voluntary is that they are completely in bed with the same people they're supposed to be regulating- hence, the theater.
And here's another issue to consider: most hog farmers (for example) can not afford to run to the vet every time one of their 50,000 pigs gets the sniffles. They basically are the vet; every day, they walk the pens and look for sick pigs. When they see one, they mark it and move it to a quarantined pen. Depending on the symptoms, they might give it an antibiotic but they try to avoid that because each shot costs $$$ and eats into their already-slim profit margin. At some point, it makes more sense to let the hog die than to keep giving it medicine. To add the extra B.S. of having to go fetch a vet first, you bet farmers are going to get a local vet pal to rubber stamp the prescription, or buy the drugs over the internet from some mystery source- there is no other logical solution.
Fixing the system with more dumb regulations is not fixing the system. The only way it's going to stop is with our wallets, by not buying that shit. That's it.
#4 By: AnonKopimi, December 11th, 2013 14:09
YAY! The Gummint promises to do...
Thousands of people are gonna die before the US Fed pulls its fists out of the golden pockets of globalism and does anything.
#5 By: Stefan Jones, December 11th, 2013 14:24
The reason livestock operations need mass application of antibiotics is because the living conditions and diets of livestock is egregiously unhealthy, designed to fatten up the animals quickly at the expense of their health.
The only way people will stop "buying that shit" is for journalists to poke their noses and cameras into livestock, slaughter, and food processing operations and show people what is going on.
That has to be legal. A lot of state governments are in bed with the industry, and have made it illegal to poke around.
And then there was the time Texas made it illegal to bad-mouth the beef industry. It didn't stick, but they'll try again.
You know what we need? A tax on livestock antibiotics. High enough to make routine application economically unfeasible. Proceeds split between food inspection and R&D into a new generation of antibiotics.
#6 By: Matt Drew, December 11th, 2013 14:28
A giant government bureaucracy is reluctant to publicly embarrass itself by admitting that it wrongly approved and encouraged society-damaging behavior for sixty years, and is perfectly willing to let normal people suffer and die through arrogant inaction? Inconceivable!
Oh wait, this is the FDA. That's their business model.
#7 By: mausium, December 11th, 2013 14:40
Hahahahah, letting the Agribusiness self-regulate is always the Libertopian solution to corruption. 100% corruption, never reform.
#8 By: IMB, December 11th, 2013 15:03
I'm already doing that. I don't eat pork BUT as a human I am vulnerable to antibiotic resistant bacteria that these farmers are helping to produce. Charge a higher price for the meat, change the conditions that allow for rapid spread of disease. Don't be a "pig" about industrializing and maximizing the numbers for profit, including weight, which is what most of these antibiotics are used for, not diseases.
#9 By: gellfex, December 11th, 2013 15:10
The only reason there's no science linking farm antibiotics to negative outcomes is the farms have consistently refused to allow any studies, and no one has forced their hand.
#10 By: Tim, December 11th, 2013 15:16
Unless you personally know every farmer who had a hand in producing your food, "dumb government regulations" are the only way to even ensure that you can make informed decisions about the products you buy.
#12 By: Suzanne, December 11th, 2013 15:34
B-B-B-But we can't regulate the drugs properly because it's HARD!
#13 By: Anthony Vicari, December 11th, 2013 16:17
At some point, it makes more sense to let the hog die than to keep giving it medicine. To add the extra B.S. of having to go fetch a vet first, you bet farmers are going to get a local vet pal to rubber stamp the prescription
I'm actually ok with that. If a regulator sees a farmer getting 52,000 prescriptions then either 1) they're easy to catch doing just what you said, or 2) their pigs are really, really sick and we obviously need to keep them out of the food supply
Also, if you're giving antibiotics to healthy animals, then clearly "each shot costs $$$ and eats into their already-slim profit margin" is incomplete information at best because at some dose the net cost must be negative.
#14 By: greenberger, December 11th, 2013 16:59
Yeah, that's so exactly what I said- get rid of government altogether, go live in the woods, and build your bunker!
Suggesting something that actually makes sense is not the same as proposing a totally new system of government.
#15 By: greenberger, December 11th, 2013 17:07
That's why I make it a point to personally know my farmers, or at least personally know enough people who know them to have justifiable faith in the food they sell me. Thanks to modern communication methods, that's not so hard to do. I get all my meat and eggs, my milk, fish, and veggies from people I deal with personally. I know- not everyone lives near XXXX, not everyone can afford XXXX, etc. Still, there's a solution and it's working and it's growing.
Regardless, the problem here is that the FDA does not have your best interest at heart, and that they would rather make a really dumb, pointless, toothless regulation than they would fix the problem. So until they change their M.O. your option is to either eat the shit they give you, or look for an alternative. I'm proposing the latter, which already exists. If our national food system ever corrects itself, I'll be glad to spend my bucks at the supermarket again... but I'm not holding my breath.
#16 By: greenberger, December 11th, 2013 17:23
I'm not sure I follow... journalists have been poking around for a while now- perhaps you haven't heard of the countless books and documentaries on the subject? I'm guessing you have, as have I. It's because of them that so many people have unplugged themselves from the totally-fucked-up food system we have and opted for farmer's markets, CSA's, buying clubs, and all sorts of options available to more and more people all over the country.
We're past the point of what you are saying. Sure, tax antibiotics, and I'm sure there will be other loopholes and problems that arise because of that. It's not a bad solution if you accept the paradigm; but there's no need to accept the paradigm. Google "CSA" + your town / city and see what you can find.
#17 By: Cary, December 11th, 2013 19:11
I assume that he is referring to this:
Taping of Farm Cruelty Is Becoming the Crime - NYTimes.com
ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, was pushing the laws in several states.
#18 By: mausium, December 11th, 2013 23:36
"Something that actually makes sense" but would also destroy the US food supply and leave the rest of us fucked.
Also, I trust my local farmers more when they're inspected.
#19 By: Suzanne, December 12th, 2013 09:14
I'll put a plug in for this here. I'm not a person who is super political about my food, but I did grow up with a dad who is an avid gardener so I was used to eating good, fresh produce. In recent years I found I was not eating as much vegetables as I did when I was young. Last year my husband and I signed up for a CSA farm box subscription for produce, meat, and eggs. I cannot even tell you the difference in the taste of the food. Even my daughter who has always disliked most vegetables ate almost everything from the farm box. The meat were also delicious. And yes, we did feel a million times better for having a relationship with "our farm" instead of eating another Tyson chicken breast. I highly recommend CSA or farmer's market; it is such a nice way to eat.
#20 By: greenberger, December 12th, 2013 11:57
Wow, talk about living in an alternate universe! Okay then, have fun with your government-sanctioned food supply!
#21 By: Alice Weir, December 12th, 2013 12:12
Ohhh, but wait! This gets even better. Because, all that livestock is fed the nastiest, moldiest grain the FDA won't allow into the human diet (directly, anyway). It does to other mammals some variation of what it would do to us - makes them sick. But then...
They feed antibiotics to the livestock to make them fatter. Moldy grain = fungal toxins. Antibiotics = fungal toxins. Fleming and the moldy bread...so. Some can kill harmful bacteria, some so toxic the DOD has it on a list of potential bioweapons. Uh-oh! Now what?....
Feed the livestock cholestyramine, which chemically binds to the fungal toxins in the animals' guts. Been going on just about as long as feeding them fungal toxins. Problem is, about 25% of the human population cannot metabolize those very same toxins, which are chemically very, very stable. So, whatever remains in the meat from those animals is in turn fed to humans anyway.
Wanna guess what to do with humans who've been heavily exposed to those same toxins via food, air, and (often) indoor air in water-damaged buildings and faulty A/C systems? Yep - cholestyramine again. Because, those particular toxins don't just get into the blood supply - they're lipophilic and stick to fat. And, cholestyramine has been used for decades to bind cholesterol in the guts of humans.
Bind the fat, you also bind some of the fungal toxins stuck to the fat. The rest? Into the water supplies of the planet. We don't test for that here....but in India, antibiotics were found in their water supplies. Nothing we do with ordinary filtration removes them. We're talking molecules so tiny, they blow right through HEPA filters. Tiny, stable, toxic - bad news, indeed.
But...why don't we know all this? What about the Centers for Disease Control? What are they doing?
Answer: absolutely nothing. In fact, multiple workers AT the CDC were poisoned in 2000-2006 in their nasty improperly-maintained buildings, leaving some permanently disabled. Others died during that same period. Tell you about that?! Nahhhh. easier to tell you that you eat too much. And, might just interfere with the ambitions of retiring agency executives who get tasty high-paying positions with drug companies and consulting firms that help companies get through the FDA's processes, and the like. Besides, might be kinda embarrassing to admit they harmed their own workers by failing to provide safe working environments...
Round and round she goes! Where she stops? Well....somewhere in this ecosystem, but nobody really knows.
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