U.S. Beef Industry To End Now?

Yahoo! News – Report: Japan Bans U.S. Beef Imports.

Things are going to happen fast now. By the time we wake up tomorrow there will be no beef industry in the US. This is because we have no real inspection system — the corporations have bought off the government — and our Agriculture Secretary is corporate lobbyist Ann Veneman.

Look what happens when we have put the corporations in charge of regulating themselves! NO ONE is going to trust anything the government says about this, and they shouldn’t. And WE shouldn’t, either! Are YOU going to eat beef now, or ever again in your life? (I haven’t for years, of course.)

Here’s an earlier post about the US beef industry. Sorry that you can’t access the NY Times articles anymore.

Update – Korea.

Update – I’m going to elevate Richard’s comment:

“Everybody remember this for when wingnuts complain about how bad regulation is for business: Putting corporate toadies in charge of regulation is BAD FOR BUSINESS. Not just bad, but catastrophic.”

Update – I just heard on the news that they slaughtered this cow and sent its meat to be used in animal feed before getting the test results. The idiots. The greedy fucking idiots set up the procedures to allow this to happen, for a few extra dollars. And in light of this I’m elevating a comment from Thomas’ previous post below:

“The Swiss segment of my family has been dairy farmers forever and you don’t slaughter a “downed” cow, you burn it and everything associated with it, and then you clorox the barn.

You also warn your neighbors and don’t ship milk until the vet tells you what happened. You may lose your herd, but if you ship tainted milk or meat, no one will ever buy from you again, so it doesn’t make any difference.

Of course, my relatives are family farmers, not industrial milk factories.”

Update – More here: USDA refused to release mad cow records,

“In addition, former USDA veterinarians tell UPI they have long suspected the disease was in U.S herds and there are probably additional infected animals.

[. . .] The USDA insisted the case is probably isolated and the US beef supply is safe. “I plan to serve beef for my Christmas dinner,” Veneman said, “and we remain confident in the safety of our food supply.”

Responded Friedlander: “She might as well kiss her (behind) goodbye, then.

Veneman went on to say she had confidence in the USDA surveillance system for detecting mad cow and protecting the public, noting the agency has tested more than 20,000 cattle for the disease this year.

This represents only a small percentage of the millions of cows in the U.S. herd, however, and experts say current procedures are unlikely to detect mad cow.

The Washington cow was tested because it was a so-called downer cow — a cow unable to stand on its own — which is a sign of mad cow disease. However, the United States sees approximately 200,000 of these per year or about 10 times as many animals are tested for the disease.

[. . .] Schwochert agreed with that, saying the USDA’s sparse testing means they cannot say with any confidence whether there are additional cases or not.

They let the fox guard the food inspection henhouse. Now we’re all fucked. It DOES matter who you vote for!

Morning UpdateSingapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia, Ukraine and South Africa. “The 15-nation European Union has long banned the import of most U.S. beef because of health concerns over cattle treated with growth hormones, allowing in a limited quantity of the meat from the United States.”