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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Put Down Those Peas and Step Away From The Plate

Interesting article from the Washington Post. Dog food is simply the tip of the iceberg. The USDA (and FDA) has always been crippled by “politics” (lobbying to limit their powers, limit the laws concerning oversight, plus budget cuts to cripple their ability to do even a minimal job, all in the name of corporate profits). With globalization, the problem gets even worse. Laisser-faire-ists would hold that this is simply a “market” problem, no need for any Nanny Government interference. The only problem with that is, Who ya gonna sue when your peas from China have already killed you and now your heirs will have to go to China and try to get a hearing in their courts since you won’t be given standing in a U.S. court since that might offend sensibilities and endanger trade agreements (remember, it’s all about the profit, not the public good)? And since corporations don’t have to disclose where all the stuff’s coming from that’s in that can of soup, how ya gonna know? And are supermarkets required, under law, to tell you where that kumquat came from? I don’t think so. And so it goes.

And it’s only gonna keep getting worse. Unless We the People wake up and realize that perhaps, just perhaps, our health and safety is more important than corporate profits. Gee, ya think? Oh, right, what was I thinking? Never happen.

Well, read (if the link works) it at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/cityguide/index.html?referrer=emailarticle

13 comments:

*pg-13 said...

.... one-thousand and one, .... one-thousand and two, ... one-thousand and three, .....

Peas, soup, kumquats? Did any of the much agrued about sewer designs address any of these? I don't recall seeing kumquats in any of the documents. Hey, Ron, what about kumquats?

Anonymous said...

Ann,

You just wrote: "Unless We the People wake up and realize that perhaps, just perhaps, our health and safety is more important than corporate profits. Gee, ya think? Oh, right, what was I thinking? "

Ya think?.....when in Los Osos are we going to wake up to the fact that our continued pollution of the ground water IS HARMING our health and safety....SO WHY ARE WE FIGHTING OVER HE COST OR PLACEMENT OF THE DAMN SEWER WHEN OUR HEALTH IS AT STAKE?

*pg-13 said...

Ann in the previous blog comment thread > Let's see, next up, I've just posted an article on the problem with the contaminated food from China. Let's see how long it takes for our anonymous posters to go directly to . . . the sewer. ..... See how long the comments about, say, tainted food from China, or an interesting breakdown of general personality "types" can stay on topic and OFF the sewer. It'll be hard, sorta like going cold turkey, but what the heck, maybe you all can give it a try on the new posting above?

Upon a second reading I sense perhaps you are serious. In which case my lame attempt at humor was inappropriate. I'm sorry.

Getting back on thread, ..... Unable to access the full article via your link. And I choose not to register for another inet service even if they do say registration is free. Just like lunches, there are no free registrations. That might be another topic for a non-sewer blog.

So, responding to your blog entry only - Yes, the globalized world market creates all sorts of interesting new business/consumer/legal relationships. Across the board. Not just with food. Consider also Intellectual Property, Copyrights, production rights, tariffs, etc., etc. ..... all of which coalesce - as you note - into one big messy legal issue. Or not, if there are no common legal grounds on which to meet. In which case it is indeed a free and open market crisis/opportunity. It's not gonna be easy.

> With globalization, the problem gets even worse. Laisser-faire-ists would hold that this is simply a “market” problem, no need for any Nanny Government interference.

I think it is beyond Nanny Government interference too. Some Nanny Control might help. Up to a point. Presumably that already existed in this Pet Food affair. And it still happened. The fact that the government played a token role in getting most of the tainted pet food removed from the shelves proves it has some value. But that didn't keep the tainted food from getting produced and on the shelves in the first place. Nor did it get ALL the tainted food removed by decree (see previous comments to other blogs). And as previously noted there is a time constant to free-market dynamics that, in the case of poisoned food, is problematical. I think the ultimate solution requires both free market commitment to producing good product (and paying the consequence when they don't) AND government oversight. But neither of those will make food safe. At some point the government has to allow business to freely communicate to their consumers the true value of their product. For example, there is now government interference to allowing the organic foods & dairy industries from freely producing and fully advertising the uniqueness of their specialized product. Likewise there are beef suppliers in the mid-west who produce meat that Japan would be willing to import (see mad cow disease) but they are not allowed to certify themselves to the satisfaction of the Japanese because ...... it wouldn't be fair to the other ranchers who are well represented in DC by their own lobby. Go figure. See also the radiated meat & genetically altered meat/produce arguments for and against freely advertising whether or how the product has been altered in order to get it to market. Then let the consumer choose with their dollars. At some point free markets have to be able to define themselves without undue government intervention. Getting the right mix isn't going to be clear or easy. And this too is part of life, eh?

(Although I would still love to hear what Ron has to say about kumquats.)

Shark Inlet said...

Here's the funny thing 'bout Ann.

I tend to agree with her about 87% of the time when she's writing about something non-sewer.

Along those lines, I think our friend of 10:48am's point should be well taken. If health and safety are so darn important, wouldn't it be a very very good thing to get a sewer and WWTF as soon as possible? Certainly health and safety should be taken into account and that would suggest that there should be a rather compelling reason for stopping the project (or now ... fighting the County if the County wants to allow us to pick TriW). A reason more scientific than "we don't like the location" must be presented.


On other matters, considering the great hay Ann has made over the issue of TW owing LAFCO money to cover their staff costs, I would have expected Ann to at least mention in today's blog entry that the two groups have reached an agreement and that TW will be paying their share of the LAFCO staff costs. I guess Ann is just waiting until tomorrow or Friday to clarify or correct her earlier comments where she accused TW of not being willing to pay.

Mike Green said...

PG projected:
"Upon a second reading I sense perhaps you are serious. In which case my lame attempt at humor was inappropriate. I'm sorry."

Don't be! almost any humor that is really funny is inappropriate to someone!

My turn, Oh My Ghod! We must do something about all this polluted food that's coming in!
Poisoned peas in our porridge will pollute our potable parch-quencher when we pee it down our piss holes!

I truly am sorry for that............

Mike Green said...

Sorry for this off topic post, but I received this e-mail from Bruce Gibson that I would like to share.
Thank you for the indulgence

     Bruce, it was a real pleasure to finally meet you at the last  
PZLDF meeting, thank you again for coming and speaking.
 As I said after the meeting I am committed to helping the county  
succeed in realizing a WWTF for Los Osos,
  I am going to help.
 One of the ways I stay engaged is by being a commentor on various  
blogs:   http://calhounscannon.blogspot.com/   and of course the  
Tribunes discussion board.
 I am NOT anonymous, I post under my name.
 Some posts recently have indicated that you have stated that the  
County BOS will not weigh the advisory vote in any way, I have posted  
that  was not my take at all, I felt that the decision of the BOS  
will take into consideration the advisory vote, I could use a little  
back-up here if I'm right.
    I don't need much, a short e-mail will do, of course if you want  
to weigh in on the blogs, feel free, I'd love it!

Sincerely, Mike Green.
 

Mike -- Sorry to be so long in responding.

I can't fathom why anyone would think that the County won't seriously consider the advisory survey.

The final project approval (assuming the current efforts are successful) will rest with the Board of Supervisors. As with any BoS action, we actively solicit input from the public. The advisory survey will provide a detailed assessment of community opinion that will be of great importance to our decision.

Thanks for your interest and support.
Bruce

Churadogs said...

Inlet sez:"I guess Ann is just waiting until tomorrow or Friday to clarify or correct her earlier comments where she accused TW of not being willing to pay."

Please show me the quote where I said TPW was unwilling to pay what they owe LAFCO. If I recall correctly, I noted that they were correct in appealing the case to get the amount changed a bit because LAFCO jerked everyone around with the delays on this issues. and I wondered if the CSD would add on their own bill since the hearings cost them a pretty penny. But, please find me the quote where I said they refused to pay -- they didn't refuse, they balked and appealed, which was their right.

anonymous sez:"the fact that our continued pollution of the ground water IS HARMING our health and safety...."

According to the last official water report, our water meets ALL California standards. Are you drinking something else than everyone else is?

PG-13 sez:"Let's see how long it takes for our anonymous posters to go directly to . . . the sewer. ..... See how long the comments about, say, tainted food from China, or an interesting breakdown of general personality "types" can stay on topic and OFF the sewer. It'll be hard, sorta like going cold turkey, but what the heck, maybe you all can give it a try on the new posting above?

Upon a second reading I sense perhaps you are serious. In which case my lame attempt at humor was inappropriate. I'm sorry."

Actually, I was joking on the square, but, let's see, this thread went into the sewer for real within one (for real) posting, heh-heh.

Sorry the link didn't go straight through. Hmm, it sure did on the email when I clicked on it and I pasted it directly. Hmmmm.

As for "safe food," you raise key issues. It will take both free market and government regulations (and a funded office with the manpower to carry through and very real penalties (Heard on the radio that some Arizona (?) Senator is introducing legislation that if a compny is knowingly (heh-heh, there's the escape hatch catch) hiring illegal workers, they will lose the right to do business in the state of Arizona forever. Ka-Boom! The legislation would, for example, really, really hit hotels and resorts etc hard. Which is why it'll never get off the ground, but penalties such as that can be real eye openers to the corporate bottom line.

And you're right, vis a vis product labels. Customers either get meaningless gobblegook or they aren't told what they really need to know.

Mike, thanks for sharing the email. My take is this: The community wants a successful project, the County wants a successful project, the State wants a successful project, so if the Process is kept correct and clean, we will have a successful project and it'll be the one the majority of the property owners voted on.

On the other hand, if the RWQCB keep monkeywrenching, the SWB keeps monkeywrenching, if certain citizens with various hidden agendas keep monkeywrenching, this Process and project may again go off into the ditch.

Anonymous said...

Talk about monkey wrench - I for one really love Edward Abbey- kept me sane through 24&25 and the fear of failure and life in Portland, OR.
Beyond that, let's all take a look at the Staff Report for the hearings in May. I'm sure a lively discussion has the potential to follow.
Thursdays are great days. The anticipation of the weekend is the best on Thursday.
Sincerely,
Maria M. Kelly

Anonymous said...

Sorry, failed to clarify - water board. My segues are failing me today.
Thanks,
Maria M. Kelly

Shark Inlet said...

Ann,

Look at your November 2006 blog entries. Just a quick glance shows you as being very critical of TW and honestly, I didn't find your comments saying that TW was right to challenge the LAFCO bill. Perhaps you could point those comments out to us.

4crapkiller said...

Ann:

And here we have the fallacy of "It takes a village".

Good points otherwise. Love the suit mentality. Lets take that mentality to the recall board, right here at home! Let them sue their cronies, the lawyers, and then let us as individuals sue them as individuals for:

1. Violation of oath of office.

2. Lack of "due dilligence".

3. Lying to the electorate, and false promises.

4. Misspent funds leading to filing for bankruptcy and insolvency.

5. Misappropriation of funds.

6. Conspiracy to obstruct the law.


When are you going to call a spade a spade? How do you feel about the gross increase in water rates? When are you going to call for a bankruptcy plan? Put it into the "Bay Nothing" or "Nude Times".

Now we hear that wacko environmentalists are trying to stop state water because of fish entering pumps in the delta. What do you think will happen to food prices? The state has been given 60 days to stop this problem by some "judge". More suits sure to follow!

Anonymous said...

Ann said:
"On the other hand, if the RWQCB keep monkeywrenching, the SWB keeps monkeywrenching, if certain citizens with various hidden agendas keep monkeywrenching, this Process and project may again go off into the ditch."

Ann, you have gone into some detail on the waterboards' monkeywrenching. Could you please explain who and what you are referring to when you said: "…certain citizens with various hidden agendas keep monkeywrenching…?" Please let us know.

Shark Inlet said...

What Ann means with "monkeywrenching" is "doing something that I (Ann) think might cause the community to choose the TriW plan that I oppose."

In other words, it is one of those choice words or phrases (like "mega-sewer") that is dragged out every so often that has been chosen to inflame the "move the sewer" political base.