I read an article that deals with the FDA & USDA, since it is on food safety I thought I'd share it. The whole article is well worth reading, here are a few excerpts;
In 1981 we had President Reagan take office and bring a new philosophy to government, which is that things are best when industry regulates itself. And the Reagan administration deliberately began cutting staffing levels at the FDA, which is responsible for most of our food, cutting staff at the USDA, which is responsible for the safety of meat and poultry products, and the Bush administration - the first Bush administration - continued this trend and the USDA and the FDA essentially became "captured" regulatory agencies: agencies staffed by industry representatives and agencies very much serving private interests and NOT the public interest.
USDA did an investigation last year that found that USDA and our own Agricultural Marketing Service had bought more than 70 million pounds of spent hen meat. Now, spent hen meat are from egg-laying hens that are so old and so decrepit, something has to be done with them, and traditionally, what's been done with spent hens is they've been rendered into pet food or they've been rendered into compost. Well, the USDA came up with a brilliant idea. They would buy all this meat from the egg-producers and what would they do with it? They would serve it to the nation's school children. Now this is meat that Campbell's Soup and McDonalds and KFC refuses to buy. This is meat that is more likely than any other poultry to be riddled with different pathogens because these hens are in terrible shape and quite sick by the time that they are dead, and in 2006, our own government agency purchased one-third of the spent hen meat in the United States to serve to school children.
To tell the truth I was rather surprised when Google-ing, I did not find much information on spent chickens. A few web stories on battered chickens describing the inhumane treatment of chickens by commercial egg producers.
I did run into one our favorite people playing games with the worlds food supply, in this case the farming of chicken is being heavily restricted away from the family farms to increase commercial sales.
Clouds can have ‘silver linings’ the adage goes, and Bird Flu seems to be no exception. While much of the world trembles in panic and fear over an as-yet-non-existent human-to-human mutation of the Avian Flu or H5N1 virus, and while most worry what to do to protect themselves and their families, certain people are doing quite nicely in the situation.
Donald Rumsfeld and other major stock holders of Gilead Sciences or Roche Inc., the marketers of the much-hyped Tamiflu (see previous articles, ‘Is Tamiflu another Pentagon Hoax? ;‘Bird Flu: A Corporate Bonanza for the Biotech Industry’) are reaping nice gains, as sales of the medication are booming thanks to promotion by the Bush and Blair governments.
Agribusiness companies stand to reap huge gains in the event that scientists at Cambridge University and elsewhere are able to replace the entire world chicken population with genetically-engineered chicks allegedly resistant to H5N1 virus.Little-noticed beneficiaries of the current Avian Flu scare, however, are the giant agribusiness chicken producers based in the United States, who claim ‘their’ chickens are safe. Their sales are booming and all indications are that Avian Flu, paradoxically, has come like a Godsend to their corporate balance sheets. Are they also responsible for breeding unsanitary conditions and exporting the product worldwide causing disease, illness and even deaths?
The industrialization of chicken-raising and slaughtering in the USA, which is known as ‘factory farming’ is a process whose inner workings are unknown to most people. Better it remained so some say. Were we to know, we likely would never again eat a Chicken McNugget or a KFC chicken dinner, both of which are supplied, by the way, by Tyson.
Increasing Asian demand for imported chicken products from the United States today, however, has a special significance. It means three to four giant factory farm operations are opening a potentially huge new market for chicken products in Asia.
Asia today is home to seven billion chickens, fully 40% of the world total. US chicken giants like Tyson Foods, ConAgra and Perdue Farms have literally been drooling at the prospect of breaking into the vast market in Asia, Japan and China for several years. Bird Flu is giving them that chance and more.
Japan imports some 70% of all chicken its population consumes. The Bird Flu scare resulted in a Japanese ban on chicken imports from Thailand and China. The benefactors have been USA and Brazil chicken exporters according to the FAO. And that means, above all, Tyson Foods, Perdue, ConAgra.
The Truth About Tamiflu The Atlantic (December 10, 2009)
Two months ago, we pointed out in our story on flu in The Atlantic that the antiviral drug Tamiflu might not be as effective or safe as many patients, doctors, and governments think. The drug has been widely prescribed since the first cases of H1N1 flu surfaced last spring, and the U.S. government has spent more than $1.5 billion stockpiling it since 2005 as part of the nation’s pandemic preparedness plan.
Tamiflu was never proven as a cure for flu; so why did governments around the world invest so much—on the order of $3 billion since the emergence of H1N1 last spring, according to investment bank, JP Morgan—in a drug that appears to do so little.
Nor was its safety truly analyzed; According to an FDA spokesperson, side effects may include potentially fatal heart problems.
The answer may lie in the politics of disease. Far from a commercial success when it was initially approved by the FDA in 1999, Tamiflu’s fortunes began to look up in 2003, after the SARS outbreak and the emergence of bird flu. Then Hurricane Katrina hit. In the wake of criticism over its handling of the disaster in New Orleans, the Bush Administration announced a multi-billion-dollar pandemic and bioterrorism preparedness strategy, which included stockpiling millions of doses of Tamiflu.
Once again Donald Rumsfeld is making his fortunes off the FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) of disease by pedaling snake oil to cure the plague. One of the big difference of our modern medicine frauds have is mainstream media support, and a medical system that believe a pill or a shot for any and everything! Everyone runs to purchase the shot because they don't want to chance getting sick or dying.
If we could grow a garden of medicinal herbs to replace a cabinet full of pills it would really change medicine and health. With the high unemployment rate it is time to grow herbs and healthy foods to prevent costly medical trap being laid apon us.
Well it is not a drug it is a plant, it contains compounds that could be refined or synthesized to make drugs. There are many plants that contain such compounds opium poppy is another such plant, in its natural form it is a very helpful herb in its refined state it become the highly addictive drug heroin, and it has many synthetic forms which is oxy-contin.
So drugs are legal and many medicinal herbs are being labeled as drugs and people are arrested for growing and possessing these medicinal herbs, poppies, peyote, coca, marijuana and the next one that might become illegal is salvia.