Help Mad Kane Rename the Food Stamps Program -- Contest with Prize

Mad Kane writes, "I was amused to learn about a new Bush administration goal: It wants to change the name of the Food Stamps Program (since it no longer uses stamps) and is soliciting suggestions from the public. I've taken a personal interest in this. Why? Because many years ago, in order to subsidize my symphony orchestra oboist habit, I worked for the Nassau County, New York Food Stamps Department. Needless to say, I couldn't resist the challenge, and the new name I've come up with is 'Leave No Stomach Behind.' But I think it's important to give Dubya a wide selection of creative names. So, as a public service, I challenge my readers to come up with some good names and post them in my comments. If I get suggestions from ten or more people, I'll even award a prize -- $10 in PayPal cash."

Honest GOP Meatpacker Was Ground Up Like Hamburger by BushEman

"When John Munsell, owner of a family-run meat packing plant in Miles City, Montana, reported that he had received tainted meat from ConAgra's massive Greely, Colorado, facility he got a surprise. Instead of recalling the meat, the USDA shut down Munsell's grinding operation for four months. The experience has made an activist of the die-hard Republican, who has become a vocal critic of a federal system that allows the big players to largely regulate themselves. Munsell is Mother Jones' Nov./Dec. 'Hellraiser' activist."

More Toxic Butter on Your Popcorn? Thanks, Processed Food Industry!

"[A] few little known companies make the complex chemicals that are responsible for the tastes and flavors that have become trademarks for fast food restaurants and makers of canned and boxed processed food. Those companies have created serious health problems and vast amounts of toxic pollution.... Yet chemical industries continue to deny their impact on the Earth, their workers, and the consumers.... It is much cheaper for them to pay out the few wrongful death lawsuits than to clean up their acts and treat their workers with dignity and respect.... [For example,] more than 30 workers have contracted diseasebronchiolitis obliterans, at the Glister-Mary Lee Popcorn plant. This disease destroys the lungs, and all these people will suffocate without complete lung transplants. Federal officials believe the workers contracted the disease by breathing the fumes of the chemical that makes that fake butter flavor in popcorn and other foods! The flavoring contains the chemical diacetyl."

ANOTHER Bush Committee with Compromising Ties to Corporate America

WashPost reports: "A new federal committee nominated recently to begin reviewing the U.S. dietary guidelines -- the cornerstone of key federal nutrition programs and policies from the food guide pyramid to the school lunch program -- has come under fire from consumer groups for having close industry ties. In a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy G. Thompson, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) urged that seven of the nominees to the 13-member committee be replaced because of their 'tight affiliations' with the food, drug and dietary supplement industries. Such ties 'cast doubt on their ability to provide the government (and the public) with the best unbiased advice,' wrote CSPI Director Michael F. Jacobson. Compounding the potential bias, Jacobson said, is that HHS and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which jointly oversee review of the guidelines every five years, did not disclose any of the nominees' corporate affiliations."

Food Bully

Conn Hallinan writes for Foreign Policy in Focus: "The decision by the Bush Administration to sue the European Union (EU) over its five-year moratorium on genetically modified (GM) foods has all the earmarks of a 'shock and awe' campaign targeted at prying open a major potential market. But the suit before the World Trade Organization (WTO) may be aimed less at the EU than at developing nations, which are far more vulnerable to strong-arm tactics."

U.S. Attacks European Biotech Ban

WashPost reports: "Backed by a coalition of a dozen countries, the United States yesterday filed a trade lawsuit challenging a de facto European ban on genetically altered crops, a long-awaited move that delighted American agricultural interests but is likely to aggravate a transatlantic rift over trade issues. The United States, Argentina, Canada and Egypt formally requested consultations in the World Trade Organization on the anti-biotechnology moratorium, enacted by European countries in 1998 amid a public revolt over genetic engineering of food... The trade suit comes as economic tensions are escalating. The European Union has won WTO rulings against the United States for a tax policy that effectively subsidizes American exports, and European leaders have complained that Congress has been slow to change U.S. law despite repeated American promises. The Europeans recently said if Congress does not act this year, they will impose broad sanctions on American products."

What Do the Food Industry, USDA, and Donald Rumsfeld Have In Common? None of them Give a Damn About American Health!

Aspartame causes a multiplicity of health problems and has been linked to early Alzheimer's, fibromyalgia, chronic headaches, and other fun things. When exposed to too much heat, aspartame breaks down into methanol and formaldehyde...yum!!! It was only approved because Donald Rumsfeld, head of Searle at that time (the company that patented aspartame) called in all his favors in Washington and bought off the Federal attorney that was supposed to be leading an investigation into the substance (there was that much evidence of its negative effects). So maybe aspartame is a way to get rid of the non-sugar addicted! Kill 'em off one by one, or render them so sick they at least benefit the pharmaceutical/healthcare industry. Fewer non-sugar addicted people is better for the food industry, better for the diet industry, better for the health industry!!

Democrats Look to Give USDA Power to Close Meat Plants

Despite efforts of Bu$h and Ann Veneman (Sec'y of Agriculture), DEMOCRATS are leading the charge to make sure tainted meat does not reach consumers. "Three Senate Democrats said on Wednesday they plan to propose legislation giving the U.S. Agriculture Department authority to shut down meat plants that have repeatedly failed government tests for disease-causing salmonella. Senators Tom Harkin of Iowa, Dick Durbin of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York said they would offer the bill early next year. The move comes as a result of a recent U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that found the USDA had overstepped its authority in suspending federal inspections [in effect, closing the plant] at a Supreme Beef Processors Inc. plant in Texas after it failed a series of salmonella tests." After a public outcry last April, the Bush Agriculture Dept quickly retracted an announcement that it would eliminate salmonella testing for school lunch meat.

'Uniter' Bush Picks Another Likely Divider

"Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa said Thursday that comments about diversity and economic growth by an Iowan nominated for a top post in the Department of Agriculture are 'disturbing and almost bizarre'...Harkin is the ranking Democrat on the Agriculture Committee, which will consider President [sic] Bush's nomination of Thomas Dorr to be undersecretary of agriculture for rural affairs. Dorr commented at an Iowa State University seminar in 1999 that Iowa's three most economically successful rural counties 'have been very non-diverse in their ethnic and their religious background.'" Dorr declared that "there's something there obviously that has enabled them to succeed and to succeed very well." Once again, Bush has likely picked the wrong man for the job. "Dorr, if approved, would lead the Agriculture Department's rural development efforts, which are aimed to a significant degree at helping promote economic gains in some of the most poverty-stricken rural areas, many of them in the South."

If Christie Todd Finally Gets Fed Up With Her Humiliation By the Bushies, Biotech Monsanto Will Have Their Lobbying Exec In Line

"An executive with Monsanto Co, a leading developer of biotech foods, has been nominated for the second-ranking job at the Environmental Protection Agency, the White House said on Tuesday. Linda Fisher, who worked for the EPA for 10 years before heading Monsanto's Washington lobbying office, was nominated for the post of deputy administrator. Fisher also served on an U.S. Agriculture Department advisory committee on biotech foods. One of the major issues currently before the EPA is a request from Aventis SA to approve a genetically- modified corn known as StarLink for human consumption." Banned in 1998, " the discovery of StarLink contamination in taco shells last autumn prompted a massive recall of more than 300 kinds of snack chips, corn flour and other foods." Moreover, "the EPA, which regulates plants altered to produce their own pesticides, is also considering whether to renew the registration of Bt corn, cotton and potato varieties that were approved six years ago."

Let Them Eat Cake (2)

Ninety percent of American households,according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, are food secure and do not have to worry about access to food. However, ten percent of households are food insecure, including three percent - 3.1 million households -where people are hungry during the year because there is not enough money for food. Hunger in America should be the concern and top priority for USDA Secretary Ann Veneman but in speeches published on the USDA web site, and according to columnist John Nichols, her only compassion seems to be for ranchers, big agribusiness, pesticide manufacturers, and drug companies.