- "The Global Puppeteers know what the public doesn't
want - but the financial/corporate 'one-government' globalists are determined
that we will get it anyway. So they follow a path of secrecy and 'stealth'
- and integrate everything to their benefit and profit through regulation."
- -Chris Gupta, Canadian Consumer Advocate
- My recent bout of food poisoning had all the classic,
unpleasant signs of "stomach flu," including diarrhea, nausea,
dizziness, and mild fever. I wondered what I might have eaten that had
made me sick. Was it the turkey salad I ate the day before, the scrambled
eggs of a few days ago, or the raw green onions on the salad bar I enjoyed
last weekend? Or, could it have been the Chinese takeout, or the grilled
chicken breast I made at home?
- Food poisoning can result from eating a contaminated
food 24 hours to ten days earlier. Without testing all the foods eaten
in the period or my stool, there simply is no way of knowing. I was not
sick enough to go to the ER or report my illness to my physician. I treated
myself at home with rest, fluids and light foods.
- Experts say that food poisoning is common in the United
States with 76 million cases reported annually, which is just the tip of
the iceberg. Multiples of that number of cases probably go unreported,
as in my own case. It's estimated that between 5000 to 10,000 Americans
die each year from contaminated food, more than die in plane crashes.
- Our food is continuing to evolve from locally grown to
a distant, global food supply with ingredients from countries spanning
the globe. There is no inspection of imported food or ingredients and no
country of origin labeling here. Do you know where your orange juice came
from? It might be Brazil. Your raspberries? PerhapsMexico. Your milk products?
New Zealand is possible. Your meat? Nowhere, if it's cloned.
- The FDA is considering approving the sale to the public
of milk, meat and eggs from cloned animals without identifying them as
coming from cloned animals and without safety testing. This was the case
with genetically modified foods, which the government said were safe and
the equivalent of conventional foods and ingredients. Of course, now there
are studies to suggest these foods and ingredients may be harmful. What
will we find out a decade or two after cloned foods are sold to unsuspecting
- The same industry-government collusion that rammed through
untested and unlabeled GM foods plans to do the same for cloned foods.
The government is now accepting public comments on their plans to introduce
cloned foods. You might want to tell them what you think of this idea.
- Food industry resistance to improvements in food regulation
and enforcement, such as the scientifically designed Hazard Analysis and
Critical Control Point (HACCP) system introduced thirty years ago, are
continuously delayed and stopped by legal and political means. At the same
time, altered foods, whose effects on humans are unknown, are introduced
into the food supply unlabeled, without scientific knowledge of the dangers
these foods pose to the public and without the knowledge and consent of
the public. It is a story that has been going on and getting worse for
thirty years and now we are in a food crisis.
- The food safety crisis we are in was inevitable and predicted.
Between 2002 and 2007, with fewer federal agents in field offices to deal
with food safety issues, food safety inspections have dropped by 50 to
75 percent. Despite urgent calls by Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of
Health and Human Services, and others in and out of the government demanding
that there be an increase in inspections to defend food against potential
terrorist attacks, the Bush Administration has done the opposite, stonewalling,
obfuscating and even trying to remove longstanding, traditional food protections.
In the last Congress, the Bush Administration actually proposed gutting
food safety by eliminating the role of the States where the most prog-ressive
and effective food safety enforcement is carried out.
- Why has the Bush Administration gone to war against food
safety? Food is political, Marion Nestle points out in her book on Food
Politics, published in 2004. "Most Americans believe that the United
States has the safest food supply in the world," according to Nestle.
"But they're dead wrong. The government places the interests of the
stockholders of food and agriculture corporations above those of the public."
To make matters worse, responsibility for food is spread out among twelve
different federal agencies in a Byzantine mosaic that works at cross-purposes,
and the revolving door between the food industry and the government's food
agencies guarantees that the watchdog agencies will place the interests
of food corporations above those of the public.
- The result is that more people are getting sick and dying
of food poisoning:
In September 2006, 200 people got sick and several died, from eating bagged
spinach from California infected with E. coli.
In November 2006, 183 people got sick eating restaurant tomatoes contaminated
In December 2006, 60 people became ill from eating E. coli-contaminated
green onions at Taco Bell restaurants;
In February 2007, packages of Oscar Mayer/Louis Rich chicken breast strips
and cuts were recalled when Georgia food scientists found Listeria monocytogenes
From December 2005 to February 2007, 370 people in 42 states, 60 of them
hospitalized, became ill from eating peanut butter tainted with Salmonella,
produced by a Con Agra plant in Georgia under the labels Peter Pan and
Great Value. Other products affected were Carvel peanut butter and chocolate
peanut butter topping, peanut butter treasure, peanut butter & jelly,
and peanut butter flavored ice cream products.
- A spokesman for the Centers for Disease Control has said
that with the increasing centralization of the food supply, new computerized
tools and more funds are needed to meet growing public demands for safer
food. Increased centralization of the food supply has expanded the problems
of contamination, with more foods exposed to cross-contamination at their
points of origin. A good example of this is the recent case of bagged spinach
from California which was cross-contaminated with E. coli in the field
from infected water and manure in the runoff from an adjacent, large factory
farm raising beef cattle.
- Food is More Than Something to Eat
- We are not alone in the need to create a more effective,
less reactive and compromised food monitoring and protection system. Five
years ago, the Commission of European Communities developed a White Paper
on Food Safety, a comprehensive report on the inadequacies of their current
systems and a plan to create a better coordinated, integrated system with
the highest levels of health protection for consumers.
- A new legal framework has been proposed covering the
whole food chain, including animal feed, and the ability to trace products
through the whole food chain. The redo is based on scientific advice and
the precautionary principle, which means when in doubt, don't take chances
with consumer health! A key element is the system's ability to take rapid,
effective, safeguard measures in response to health emergencies throughout
the food chain. Other factors built into the system include the promotion
of fair practices in food trade, environmental considerations, animal welfare,
sustainable agriculture, consumers' expectations for product quality, fair
and transparent information about product characteristics, ingredients
and processes and production methods (Consumers Right to Know).
- Here in the United States, we've had a wild ride in a
food marketplace only free for global giants, a handful of corporations
responsible to no government to tell
- the truth or to take into account the health and demands
of their consumers. If we in the United States hold to our history of inadequate
and outmoded food safety approaches, the Europeans will eat our lunch,
and it won't be with cloned pepperoni.
- We need a new food regulatory system with transparency
at all levels that bolsters consumer confidence in food, manufacturers
and marketers, government agencies, and Congressional committees that will
no longer allow lobbyists to write our laws and regulations. In other words,
we need nothing short of a new deal on food safety. Until that time, the
best personal advice to follow is: buy fresh, buy local, and grow some
of your own!
- Luise Light, MS, EdD, is a nutritionist and author of,
"What to Eat; The Ten Things You Need to Know to Eat Well and Be Healthy"
(McGraw Hill, 2006). She writes, teaches and counsels patients in Bellows
Falls, VT, where she also is an elected official.