Jingoistic bumper stickers telling you
To love it or leave it, and you'd better love Jesus
And get out of the way of the red, white and blue
IKEA wants customers who have purchased an IKEA FOOD labeled jar of marinated herring at the Swedish Food Markets at IKEA stores to return it to their local IKEA store for a full refund.
IKEA has received two reports where customers have found a large piece of glass in IKEA FOOD labeled jars of marinated herring. There has been no report of injuries.
When I last mentioned the FDA, it was in context of their doing a better job policing than the police are. In truth, what the FDA does well is to disseminate press releases via their website. No press release from self-policing companies, no report.
Consumer Reports, the publication of Consumers Union, a usually non-partisan group, has taken an uncharacteristic political stance in their June 2007 Editorial:
They ask ''whether the agencies charged with safeguarding our health and safety are doing as much as they should be. Consumers Union doesn't think so, and part of the reason they aren't is money. . .(They) are hobbled by their budgets.''
Of the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) they say:
Of the Food and Drug Administration:
''The CPSC is requesting $63.3 million for the next fiscal year, a bump of $880,000. That's a paltry amount to add to the already tight budget of the federal safety agency responsible for more than 150,000 types of consumer products.''
''Cuts of 51 employees in the past two fiscal years have already drained the agency of some of its deepest knowledge and left it with the smallest staff in its history: just 401 full-time staffers. We can't afford losses like those.''
''A recent AP analysis of FDA records found that from 2003 to 2006 the agency cut inspection of food manufacturing facilities in half. A former FDA official, William Hubbard, wrote in the Washington Post that because of the mainly flat budget, U.S. food processors are inspected on average only once every 10 years.''The New York Times reports:
''Even if the current administration does little to encourage increased safety efforts, Congress should.''
"Although (the FDA) is responsible for monitoring 80 percent of the food supply, the bill that authorizes its funding gives it just $10.6 million for food safety.By contrast, the Department of Agriculture, which regulates 20 percent of the food supply, receives $104 million for its meat inspection program and $164 million for food emergencies and other food safety responsibilities. The disparity is reflected in food-borne illness rates. In 1993 there were 3,700 illnesses connected to food regulated by the U.S.D.A. — meat and poultry — and 6,700 from food regulated by the F.D.A. In 2004, the latest year for which figures are available, the U.S.D.A. cases had dropped to 2,300 while the F.D.A.’s had risen to 10,300." ("Who's Watching What We Eat?")
It may be too cynical to imagine that the USDA--the meat patroller--is funded better because Republicans aren't the avant-garde of the vegans.
So, as your hard-earned tax dollars go marching off to the Middle East, be mindful that if you don't feel well, you might be suffering a little more than indigestion over the matter.
Keep a morbid hope that some other poor soul falls ill first, tipping off the appropriate agencies. And if need be, that there are still antibiotics around capable of fighting off any infection you might contract. Medicine development follow the business model, after all, and profit is king (''The Coming Plague.'')