“I aimed at the public’s heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach.”
– Upton Sinclair, “The Jungle”
E coli conservatives and their ostensible devotion to the free market strike again:
WASHINGTON: The Bush administration said Tuesday it will fight to keep meatpackers from testing all their animals for mad cow disease.
The Agriculture Department tests fewer than 1 percent of slaughtered cows for the disease, which can be fatal to humans who eat tainted beef. A beef producer in the western state of Kansas, Creekstone Farms Premium Beef, wants to test all of its cows.
Larger meat companies feared that move because, if Creekstone should test its meat and advertised it as safe, they might have to perform the expensive tests on their larger herds as well.
We knew that this administration sheds its purported principles whenever it suits their supporters, but to prohibit a small meatpacker from testing for a deadly disease when the small business wants to do so at its own cost is simply insane and shows what the true agenda is. Rick Perlstein offers this comment:
First, observe the contempt for liberty. When E. coli conservatives say self-regulation is preferable to government, they’re even lying about that. Second, observe the contempt for small business. When a small company want to – voluntarily! – hold its product to a higher standard, the government blocks it, in part because bigger companies have to be protected from the competition, in part because a theoretical threat to the bottom line (false positives) trumps protection against a deadly disease.
There’s your conservatism, America: not extremism in defense of liberty. State socialism in defense of Mad Cow.
And in case youâ€™re wondering, you can buy Creekstone Farms meat locally at Kowalskiâ€™s.