Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The politics of food
One thing I like about Hillary Clinton is that she's the only candidate that I know of who has included food safety as part of her platform.
Because you've got to wonder (or, more likely, worry) what the fuck is going on with our government when one agency (the FDA) says cloned meat is "safe" to eat (I can just hear the depositions years from now..."It depends on what the meaning of 'safe' is) while another (the Department of Agriculture) expresses concerns that it isn't.
The real laugh is that the Department is "asking" companies not to sell cloned meat. Mind you, they have no authority to recall meat or produce. Bet you didn't know that...neither did I, until I did some research.
It's royally frustrating to have to be SO vigilant as a consumer. You want to buy organic, but have to steer clear of some USDA organics because they have allowed companies so many loopholes (such as allowing beer to be called "organic" without using any organic hops. I'm not making this up.) Add that to the fact that you also don't want products that have been tested on animals, or ones that contain animal products, and shopping for the most basic things becomes an exercise in frustration.
You'd think they'd at least TELL us when a product contains cloned or genetically modified ingredients, but no...all of the labeling efforts have been shot down by both the government departments responsible and big corporate money. Wait a minute, I'm being redundant.
Same thing when it comes to personal care products...my husband and I have started buying products that are compliant with European Union standards because they ban some 3,000+ chemical ingredients and the U.S. only bans, like, 4. Again, I wish I was making this up.
I can't help but wonder if our rates of cancer, autism, birth defects, and other bad stuff aren't terribly affected by the chemicals and genetic food engineering that our government allows.
Speak up! Get informed! A few good places to tune in for non-biased information:
Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
Oregon Environmental Council
Organic Consumers Association