Democracy Now: Largest Egg Recall In US History Brings Renewed Attention To Dangers Of Industrial Farming

Amy Goodman talks to David Kirby, journalist and author of the book Animal Factory: The Looming Threat of Industrial Pig, Dairy and Poultry Farms on Humans and the Environment about his recent article in the Huffington Post -- Lessons From the Egg Recall: Cheap Food Makes You Sick.

Americans currently "enjoy" the cheapest animal protein in history. Such a monumental achievement could only have been attained through the industrialized mega-production of meat, milk and eggs -- which now cost about $1.56 on average for a large white dozen in the nation's supermarkets.

At just 13 cents apiece, even the poorest American can afford a two-egg omelet in the morning: It will set them back by less than four-percent of the Federal hourly minimum wage

But now Americans are finally coming to terms with the true cost of their wondrous 26-cent breakfasts: a gargantuan recall of mass-produced eggs -- 380 million of them -- contaminated with deadly salmonella bacteria. Hundreds of people have reportedly been sickened, and the true number could be higher. Read on...

I'm not sure how many more people have to get sick before this bill finally gets passed which is stalled in the Senate.

Egg crisis piques interest in food-safety bill:

The outbreak of salmonella in eggs is energizing efforts to pass a long-stalled food-safety bill that could prevent or mitigate such problems, according to federal officials, congressional supporters and independent experts.

The bill, designed to overhaul a fractured food-safety system that hasn't been updated in decades, would expand federal regulators' powers to police food manufacturers. The House passed a version in 2009, but the legislation has stalled in the Senate, despite bipartisan support.

Among other things, the legislation would require more frequent government inspections of food manufacturing facilities and the creation of stronger mechanisms for tracing food-borne illness outbreaks back to their source. The bill also would give the Food and Drug Administration authority to order recalls of food that may be tainted with salmonella, E. coli O157:H7 and other contaminants.

"The pending legislation is absolutely critical," Jeff Farrar, associate FDA commissioner for food protection, said in a call with reporters. "There are just numerous important measures in that bill that will give us new authorities and resources. " About 550 million eggs have been recalled in the salmonella outbreak, which federal investigators have linked to two Iowa production facilities: Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has tied as many as 1,300 illnesses to the outbreak. Officials say there could be as many as 30 unreported illnesses for each documented case. The outbreak comes amid a push by the Obama administration to toughen food-safety rules.

USA Today lists some of the key provisions in the bill so go read the whole article. You can read the full transcript of Amy's interview with David Kirby here.

This is what happens when people who don't believe in government regulation do their best to make sure their point is proven that regulation doesn't work by dismantling the ability of government to do its job and regulate industries that can't be trusted to regulate themselves.


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