Apr
2

I Don’t Wanna Be Buried In A Pet Sematary




Posted at 14:26 by HTML Mencken

MMMMM, tasty, tasty wheat gluten:

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified the Chinese company that it said supplied the contaminated ingredient used in now-recalled pet foods that has sickened and killed thousands of animals nationwide.

The FDA ordered “detention without examination” of wheat gluten from Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd., which is based in Jiangsu province. Xuzhou Anying’s wheat gluten contains melamine, which is described as a poisonous or injurious substance and an unsafe food additive, according to an import notice issued Friday by the FDA.

We’ve been getting it from China because, you know, they cover our National Security State’s horrendous deficits, our corporations love their authoritarian government, and our consumers buy their cheap products (even, apparently, when they don’t want to! “I’m free to decide”, sang Milton Friedman — or was it the Cranberries?). Of course, we can’t refuse anything made or processed by slave and near-slave labor of extra-national origin. Because for one, to do so would go against economist-groupthink, always a real no-no and proof of one’s evil-commie nature; and for another, it would inspire the annihilating rage of whole future generations of Chinese. So, keep bringing on the poison!

First it got your dog. Then it got your cat. And now it may get ..you?:

Del Monte Foods has confirmed that the melamine-tainted wheat gluten used in several of its recalled pet food products was supplied as a “food grade� additive, raising the likelihood that contaminated wheat gluten might have entered the human food supply.

“Yes, it is food grade,� Del Monte spokesperson Melissa Murphy-Brown wrote in reply to an e-mail query. Del Monte issued a voluntary recall Saturday for several products under the Gravy Train, Jerky Treats, Pounce, Ol’ Roy, Dollar General and Happy Trails brands.

Wheat gluten is sold in both “food grade� and “feed grade� varieties. Either may be used in pet food, but only “food grade� gluten may be used in the manufacture of products meant for human consumption. Published reports have thus far focused on tainted pet food, but if the gluten in question entered the human food supply through a major food products supplier and processor, it could potentially contaminate thousands of products and hundreds of millions of units nationwide.

Oh, don’t panic!:

Wheat gluten also is used in human food; the FDA said it could not say for sure, but it had no reason to believe contaminated gluten got into any human food.

Riiight. This is the Bush FDA, remember, whose competence is analogous to Bush’s war-planners and whose regulatory good faith is analogous to his Interior Department’s. In other words, these creeps are fuck-ups, and corrupt ones to boot. Stupid and evil — which might be the perfect catchphrase for our epoch. The structures of neoliberalism are awful enough as it is; such structures under Republican stewardship are that much worse. Poison begets poison, from economic theories to your dinner table, from the Diebold machine to you dog’s food bowl.

Something like this was bound to happen.

While cats seem particularly susceptible to the effects of melamine poisoning, there is little research on the substance’s human toxicity. Unless and until the FDA determines otherwise, one cannot help but wonder if our sick and dying cats are merely the canary in the coal mine alerting us to a broader contamination of the human food supply.

Our rulers, reactionary and neoliberal, presume the following heirarchies: Cheap > healthy; free trade > heavy (safe, conscientious, fair) regulation.

It’s economics, stupid. Now eat up.

106 Comments »

  1. Comrade Rutherford said,

    April 2, 2007 at 14:40

    If only the GOP still controlled Congress. We would see a Chinese Gluten and Slavery Disparaging Act that would jail all Democrats for even thinking about: 1) contaminated gluten in the US food supply, 2) maybe chinese slave labor isn’t a Good Thing, 3) concern for their own health by NOT eating contaminated gluten, and/or 4) musing on the idea of The Fed DOING something to stop the intentional poisoning of pets and people by money-crazed corporations (acting all corporationy).

    Only Communist governments would regulate the food industry to prevent poisons from getting to conusmers!

  2. Righteous Bubba said,

    April 2, 2007 at 14:48

    But the market’s taking care of it, right? I mean, after the first few dozen people die they just won’t buy that stuff and problem solved.

  3. Incontinentia Buttocks said,

    April 2, 2007 at 14:52

    Oh, HTMLM! Just assume perfect information and instantly clearing markets and nobody will die!

    And while you’re at it, assume a can opener…and a pony!

    (And, to be fair to the Congressional GOP, CR, many of them are pretty viciously anti-Communist, or whatever one calls knee-jerk opposition to the Chinese these days, though they’d no doubt put these “principles” on hold if told to do so from on high.)

  4. Anne Laurie said,

    April 2, 2007 at 15:18

    And yet the pet food companies using the “food grade” gluten were making the “premium”, presumably more expensive choice… although it’s been an education for some pet owners to find out just how much difference there ISN’T between name-brand and store-brand foods in some cases. I’ve got cyberfriends on some of my hobby boards, nice heartland ladies of a certain age. Some of them have been diagnosed with gluten intolerance, and are wondering if it’s really just the “impurities” they’re allergic too; many of them have much-loved companion animals whose health may have been compromised. And yet the general tenor of their remarks isn’t outrage, either at the corporations who chose thrift over quality or at the government’s refusal to do its damn job by protecting us… most of the comments run along the lines of “Between mad cow disease, salmonella, and e. coli contamination, I guess the only safe food left is chocolate — if it weren’t for worrying about Rover and Fluffy, I’d be in heaven.”

    Maybe we’ve all become victims of what the psychologists call ‘learned helplessness.’ I wish I could find even mordant amusement in this whole disaster, but the best I can do is be glad I don’t have kids.

  5. Rufus said,

    April 2, 2007 at 15:33

    It’s only a matter of time before Halliburton inks an exclusive deal with Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. to produce army rations.

  6. General Woundwort said,

    April 2, 2007 at 16:02

    We grow shitloads of wheat in this country. We pay out billions in farm subsidies to make sure we don’t grow too much wheat and depress the price. Whole states are committed to little else but growing wheat. Why in the name of the FSM do we need to import fecking WHEAT from anywhere else? Jesus – it’s wheat. Aside from Blockbuster Action Films, it is pretty much the only damn thing we still do better than anyone else.

  7. El Cid said,

    April 2, 2007 at 16:26

    China has been leading the world in weird communist-capitalist contradictions for years now, in addition to melamine-laced wheat gluten.

    For years now, the Chinese Communist Party argued that since China lacked a fully developed capitalist class (i.e., the people who would pay for factories & equipment), and therefore the CCP would act as that investor / capitalist class.

    Now it appears that they may have been so successful that now the Chinese working class are beginning to resent and protest against their capitalist class, i.e., the Chinese Communist Party.

    So you may say that the Chinese working class is experiencing Marxian conflict with the capitalist class which is also the Communist Party which is also supposedly the revolutionary workers’ group which is there to help them fight the capitalist class, which is, er, themselves.

  8. teh l4m3 said,

    April 2, 2007 at 16:49

    It’s only a matter of time before Halliburton inks an exclusive deal with Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. to produce army rations.

    Entirely probable. Moreover, if and when I find myself stuck in post-Apocalyptic Australia, I will not eat anything out of a can.

  9. Non Nato said,

    April 2, 2007 at 16:54

    Glory to Market in the highest! for Market is the master of things

  10. Stephen Occam said,

    April 2, 2007 at 16:56

    Menu Foods, a Canadian company, imports Chinese wheat gluten to its factories in America, makes more or less one generic ‘cuts and gravy’ product, slaps two dozen ‘competing’ ‘premium’ lables on the product, and ships them across North America.

    Of course, this comes as a surprise to many. Isn’t globalization funderful?

    For the record Woundwort, Canada also has provinces that are really only good for wheat, also highly subsidized, so Canadian wheat got passed over on as well.

    I’m feeding my dog white rice and lean ground beef these days anyways now. Sure there is still BGH and other problems with beef, but at least its not processed globalized foodproduct.

  11. Krankor said,

    April 2, 2007 at 17:03

    The Left continues to ignore the real culprit here: Canadian Jihadi Terrorists.

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2007/03/terror_central_.html

  12. thelogos said,

    April 2, 2007 at 17:04

    Glory to Market in the highest! for Market is the master of things

    Verily, for Friedman is Mark-Et’s only Profit! May the Truth of Friedman live Forever! Moolah Akbar!

  13. Jack Roy said,

    April 2, 2007 at 17:08

    Oh, I am so consumed with the timing of this coming out on Passover. I’m off bread for eight days anyway, so I’ll wait and see if huge swaths of the population are dead then before I decide whether to get exercised. In the meantime… meh.

    (PS, thelogos: “Moolah Akbar”? Nice.)

  14. Comrade Rutherford said,

    April 2, 2007 at 17:22

    You liberal are all the same. You think the government is supposed to protect YOU?!

    The federal government’s primary job is assist corporations in maximizing their profits by protecting them from the ravages of comsumers.

    This is situation is exactly why we MUST get rid of the FDA. If there were no FDA to tell us what is and isn’t safe to eat, then we wold never get sick from food because it would automatically always be good. This is why self-regulation works, comapnies can put whatever they want into the food supply and the Fed stands ready to cover-up and legalzie whatever it is. It’s just common sense, people.

    You liberals whine about how you want the Fed to protect you, that is not their job. The Constitution says to ‘promote’ the general welfare, not ensure it! Using government to help the citizens rather than corporations is the defenition of Communism! If you think your government should prevent your pets from being randomly poisoned then move to China!

  15. Miles Leftwich said,

    April 2, 2007 at 17:27

    Re: First it got your dog. Then it got your cat. And now it may get ..you?:

    This is already happening. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and foreign regulators, Chinese dietary supplements over the past several years periodically pop up containing fenfluramine. This was the ingredient in “fen-phen” that destroyed users’ heart valves and caused primary pulmonary hypertension, a lung disease that is almost invariably fatal.

  16. mythago said,

    April 2, 2007 at 17:59

    Wait, melamine? Isn’t that they stuff they make kiddie plates and cups out of?

  17. robert green said,

    April 2, 2007 at 18:13

    first, the chinese wheat gluten contaminated with melamine came for my dog, and i said nothing.

    then it came for my cat, and again i said nothing.

    then it came for my hamster, but still i said nothing.

    then it came for a member of my church group, and i was left to wonder if voting against my own economic interests in the name of being afraid of gay people and terrorists was a good idea.

  18. J— said,

    April 2, 2007 at 18:29

    I like the etymology of melamine. From the New Oxford American Dictionary on my computer:

    ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from German melam (an arbitrary formation), denoting an insoluble amorphous organic substance, + amine.

  19. J— said,

    April 2, 2007 at 18:37

    I can’t find it right now, but I’m pretty sure there’s a verse in Leviticus that reads, “Add not the insoluble amorphous organic substance to wheat gluten, for it shall kill your dog dead.”

  20. Kathleen said,

    April 2, 2007 at 18:48

    I miss everyone!

  21. Kathleen said,

    April 2, 2007 at 18:48

    yay. I can finally post comments and read the web page.

  22. mikey said,

    April 2, 2007 at 19:06

    There was a king reigned in the East:
    There, when kings will sit to feast,
    They get their fill before they think
    With poisoned meat and poisoned drink.
    He gathered all that springs to birth
    From the many-venomed earth;
    First a little, thence to more,
    He sampled all her killing store;
    And easy, smiling, seasoned sound,
    Sate the king when healths went round.
    They put melamine in his meat
    And stared aghast to watch him eat;
    They poured gluten in his cup
    And shook to see him drink it up:
    They shook, they stared as white’s their shirt:
    Them it was their poison hurt
    - I tell the tale that I heard told.
    Hu Jintao, he died old.

    –AE Houseman

  23. Dorothy said,

    April 2, 2007 at 19:21

    Soon, J-pod will be along to tell us that many consumers like to poison pets and those that don’t should just make a different choice and let the market decide.

    And, of course, this summer debaclebuster is brought to us by the producers and directors of Iraq: The Liebermanization and Levee and Let Die. We already have the tagline (“No one could have anticipated there might be poison in the food chain!”)–we just need a snappy title…

    “Gluten Tag”?
    “Glutes of Steel?”

    (Melamine is also used in white boards, so we can write the FDA armnings directly on our digestive systems now.)

  24. ifthethunderdontgetya®©³² said,

    April 2, 2007 at 19:23

    Jus’ Sayin’.

  25. ifthethunderdontgetya®©³² said,

    April 2, 2007 at 19:40

    BTW, what’s with the bogus trackbacks?

  26. Righteous Bubba said,

    April 2, 2007 at 19:43

    #

    Krankor said,

    April 2, 2007 at 17:03

    The Left continues to ignore the real culprit here: Canadian Jihadi Terrorists.

    http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2007/03/terror_central_.html

    Thanks. That’s worth a good snicker, especially when her first commenter corrects her and she tracks down where his IP number points to. She’s on the goddamn case!

  27. ahem said,

    April 2, 2007 at 19:45

    One thing the pet food poisonings should show is just how centralised food production has become in the US. Actually, the ‘bagged spinach death!1!’ recall was the same: basically one production facility for one product, badged under different labels and sold across the nation, creating a nice illusion of diversity and competition,

    Across the US, you have corn states and wheat states and potato states and pig states (complete with lakes of pigshit), and something’s gotta give. That lack of diversity in food production is a recipe for disaster: it may not be as dramatic as people dropping dead, but over the long term it ain’t healthy.

  28. teh l4m3 said,

    April 2, 2007 at 19:47

    Um, wait guys… So where does that leave the glutinate in many health food/muscle building supplements?

  29. Rufus said,

    April 2, 2007 at 20:11

    Suddenly, the idea of sitting in my mom’s basement living entirely on Cheetos doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Cheetos are gluten-free, after all.

  30. The Constructivist said,

    April 2, 2007 at 20:17

    Random reactions: “I’m free/To do what I want/Any old time…” Who sung that and why didn’t you reference them? Don’t you love the way the FDA goes after cheap meds but lets the really dangerous stuff rght on through? Perhaps I should add this post to the menu at The Blogocalypse at the End of the Universe–what think you?

  31. Ken Houghton said,

    April 2, 2007 at 20:23

    Following up on Jack Roy’s point above (Pesach begins tonight; no wheat glutens allowed), I’m waiting patiently for the “the timing of this announcement is just a sign that the media is run by a Jewish conspiracy” meme to start circulating.

  32. Doodle Bean said,

    April 2, 2007 at 20:27

    Cheap is how we tell things are going o.k.! After all, Sen. Graham was ecstatic to get five rugs for five bucks in Iraq!

    …Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) held a press conference in Iraq. Both McCain and Graham charged that the media are not giving the American people “the full picture of what’s happening here.â€? As evidence of progress, they spoke of the time they were able to spend in the Bab al-Sharqi market, at which 88 people died in suicide bomber attack on Jan. 22. “We went to the market and were just really warmly welcomed. I bought five rugs for five bucks. And people were engaging,â€? said Graham.

  33. mikey said,

    April 2, 2007 at 20:48

    “We went to the market and were just really warmly welcomed. I bought five rugs for five bucks. And people were engaging,� said Graham.

    This is actually a misquote. What Graham Cracker really said was “I bought five drugs for five bucks”. Serious mesopotamian speedballs, he hasn’t been able to focus his eyes since. And I guess it’s not surprising that he didn’t mention the weapons sales in the market – back home in South Carolina he’s completely used to being able to buy AKs, RPDs and RPGs at the flea market down by where the drive in used to be…

    mikey

  34. teh l4m3 said,

    April 2, 2007 at 21:12

    …mesopotamian speedballs…

    And just think, had he bought them from Halliburton, they would have been cut heavily with Comet and ground-up mothballs, and still would have cost him a month’s pay.

    …Heh. The handshake drugs he bought downtown…

  35. MCH said,

    April 2, 2007 at 21:15

    ““I’m free/To do what I want/Any old time…â€? ”

    Are you thinking of “I Got a Right” by Iggy Pop (and Murphy’s Law, later on…)? Or something similar, perhaps.

  36. islmfaoscist said,

    April 2, 2007 at 21:19

    “I’m free/To do what I want/Any old time…�

    I’m Free, by da Stones.

  37. islmfaoscist said,

    April 2, 2007 at 21:22

    melamine is used in fertilizer in Asia and in plastic products but is not registered as a fertilizer in the United States

    Turns any pet into a Chia Pet!

  38. a different brad said,

    April 2, 2007 at 21:39

    I happen to know someone in Mississauga. She’s schizophrenic and amusing if you don’t mind the narcissism or pathos, but I digress. The town itself is a fairly standard suburb, with strip malls and developments n etc, and, like many Canadian suburbs these days, racially mixed in ways us Americans would find inconceivable. I’d say this is what actually scares Pammy the bigot, but that’d give her too much credit. In any case, gotta love the stupid. Don’t blame corporate production methods, blame the town, cause some of the people in a busted terrorist ring lived up there.
    And wtf was with her tracing the commenter’s ip? I haven’t been watching this particular trainwreck lately, has she progressed to calling anyone who posts in disagreement an active terrorist?

  39. Doodle Bean said,

    April 2, 2007 at 21:48

    a different brad,

    Huh?

  40. Doodle Bean said,

    April 2, 2007 at 21:51

    And teh l4m3,

    Um, wait guys… So where does that leave the glutinate in many health food/muscle building supplements?

    It’s leaves glutinate
    sticking stuff together just as before!!

  41. Doodle Bean said,

    April 2, 2007 at 21:53

    Sorry, here’s the glutinate link: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/glutinate

    And will the preview button ever make a reappearance now that the site is loadly properly again. Huh? Huh?

  42. grampaw said,

    April 2, 2007 at 22:05

    Wait, I’m confused.

    Should rich nations be buying agricultural products from poor nations, or not?

    But more importantly, should food safety be tied to trade issues? You want your food to be safe no matter where it comes from, no?

    Spinning the pet food recall as a trade issue might feel good, particularly if you’ve got issues with Those Ruthless Greedy Chinamen, but you’re going to have a damned hard time digging up an opponent of protectionism who also opposes product safety regulation.

    Retardo, if you really honestly don’t harbor any nasty prejudices about the Chinese, or any interest in stirring up such prejudices, then you need to start rethinking the way you characterize China in your posts. Repeatedly painting the nation as a sort of capitalist Mordor hardly makes you look like a paragon of international goodwill and understanding, or of maturity, for that matter.

    Your remarks concerning the Bush FDA are spot-on, though.

  43. a different brad said,

    April 2, 2007 at 22:11

    Doodle Bean-
    Pam Atlas.

  44. KathyF said,

    April 2, 2007 at 22:45

    Murphy Brown is now the spokesperson for Del Monte?

  45. El Cid said,

    April 2, 2007 at 22:46

    You may also wish to now reconsider such massive trade agreements as the WTO was planning.

    According to the NAFTA model, the basic trade agreement itself makes any merely ‘national’ laws open to challenge by companies located in any of the trading nations.

    So these international trade agreements are quite conscious moves by the international capital class to actually reverse the model of the Republic, in which a people can determine which laws govern them.

  46. Doodle Bean said,

    April 2, 2007 at 23:15

    a different brad,

    Duh. Just referring to the sudden appearance of a long, long comment about our Pam in a gluten thread.

  47. teh l4m3 said,

    April 2, 2007 at 23:43

    Thanks, Bean.

  48. a different brad said,

    April 2, 2007 at 23:45

    Errrr. Two other people talking about her a few comments prior isn’t sufficient context for it to be permissible for me to call her crazy for a few sentences?
    The hell?

  49. a different brad said,

    April 2, 2007 at 23:57

    N to finish venting my hostility at a kinda dickish comment, that’s your idea of long, long?

  50. Hugely said,

    April 2, 2007 at 23:58

    grampaw – which kind of troll are you?

    you seem to go after Retardo quite often. Are you a Lieberman fan/centrist person? Just curious…

  51. alkaser said,

    April 3, 2007 at 0:01

    I think u got a good blog!!
    I hope you can visit mine. It’s all about
    DOG and
    DOG FOOD.
    You wll learn valuable information about dogs and how to feed them the real thing.

    http://dogfoodsecrets.blogspot.com/

    Follow the instructions there, and read their articles and you will keep your dog alive for more 5-8 years more than expect!! I publish new and exclusive articles every single day for free!!

  52. Lesley said,

    April 3, 2007 at 0:05

    At the risk of being slammed for mentioning a book everyone, apparently, has read, Fast Food Nation has plenty of info about mass produced pet food. If people think their pets are safe as long as the ingredients come from US slaughterhouses and packing plants, they’re nutz. If food that’s mass produced for human consumption is barely passable, you can just imagine the crud that’s in pet food.

    Canada’s going through a process of trying to regulate the counterfeit crap that’s coming in from China. Faux designerwear may be harmless, but we’re seeing prescription drugs, exploding batteries and faulty car parts. I think the US is further ahead in regulating this crap.

  53. MobiusKlein said,

    April 3, 2007 at 0:20

    Lesley, you forgot spinach.

  54. kingubu said,

    April 3, 2007 at 0:34

    Hmmm, I sure hope the presence of the “Off-Topic” police is just a fixable bug resulting from the installation of new gay hamsters. I’d hate to think we had to wait around for the “proper time” for poop jokes.

  55. mikey said,

    April 3, 2007 at 0:39

    Which brings us to the most important question of the day. Just when, exactly, is the “proper time” for poop jokes? ‘Cause it’d be crappy if everyone thought I was a shithead for dumping a poop joke at the improper time…

    mikey

  56. kingubu said,

    April 3, 2007 at 0:50

    mikey, I’m just guessing, but I suspect that the “proper time” for a given poop joke is determined by interpreting the I Ching via the Bristol Stool Scale.

  57. tigrismus said,

    April 3, 2007 at 1:01

    Just when, exactly, is the “proper time� for poop jokes?

    When the urge is irresistible you’d better just do it before you explode.

  58. Larry said,

    April 3, 2007 at 1:05

    My nine year old son’s beloved cat, a lovely and affectionate critter, was killed by this substance. Accordingly I was ready to read this and be steamed.

    Imagine how steamed I was to discover that my nine year old son may join his cat.

  59. HTML Mencken said,

    April 3, 2007 at 1:08

    Shorter Grampaw: ‘To oppose free trade is to be racist!’

    It’s also funny that we’re supposed to import food from nations whose people are starving — STARVING!!1!!! — because we can’t move the sweatshops in fast enough. Of course, only an abject moron would believe that the Chinese farmer benefits from his country’s grain export market — there’s little doubt in my mind that he benefits about as much as, say, the South American soybean farmer does from his crops — which is to say, nil, because in S.A. the farm is usually owned by a corp like Bunge and managed at the fields by Americans. The Chinese government, on the contrary, is the beneficiary, using its profit to buy our T-bills. But thank god that Chinese farmer is no longer doing it for subsistence; he’s doing it for near slave wages! Which means that he — so long as his gov’t subsidized living expenses holds out — can hope to someday consume like a Westerner! Yay for the environment! Yay for consumption! Yay for multinationals that get to eat their cake and have it too! Yay for corporate tools like you who hide behind bullshit ‘international goodwill’ slogans!

    This poison-gluten story is a trade issue; and of course you free trade fucks are perfectly all right with this kinda crisis so long as you keep your precious race to the bottom going. Fortunately, for everyone’s sake — ours and the Chinese — this thing may end up taking Upton Sinclair proportions, stopping your dogmatic death march in its tracks just as The Jungle stopped your ideological ancestors’ laissez-faire dogma (because really, there’s just a single vagina hair’s difference between your sorry lot and libertarianism).

    Finally, why don’t you fuck off and fucking die and burn in hell, Grampaw.

  60. HTML Mencken said,

    April 3, 2007 at 1:22

    I’m so sorry to hear that, Larry. I think my cat is okay — I’ve been feeding it table scraps the last week or so since I heard about this — but I feel for people whose animals didn’t make it. And Lord know I hope nothing worse happens with regard to this story.

    Incidentally, I haven’t grown wheat for years now — fertilizer costs combined with prices per bushel lower than that which prevailed *when I was born* make it prohibative. But now prices have gone up a bit (wheat’s tied to corn price, corn has gone up because of increased demand largely due, one assumes, to massively increased ethanol production), and people might start growing it around here again. But someone above thread emtnioned that some areas in the US and especially in Canada can *only* grow wheat — the soil and climate aren’t suited to much else. Suffice to say, the wheat’s always been there; these companies just wanted to be cheap and didn’t give a shit about the consequences. But then again, Chinese governmental QC in these plants is probably on the level with its rigourous environmental policies and worker safety concerns — which is why it’s no surprise it’s poisoned. But the food corps don’t care; they just want cheap stuff and thanks to lemmings like Grampaw, they can get cheap stuff anytime from the chicom exploiters and *their* multinational cronies.

  61. Lesley said,

    April 3, 2007 at 1:40

    Larry, my deepest sympathy for kitty and your loss. I can only imagine how terrible this must be. I hope these class action law suits against Big Fet Pood actually get somewhere. Right now it seems every corp. involved is pointing the finger elsewhere…as is typical of corporations. I’M NOT RESPONSIBLE. NO ONE’S RESPONSIBLE. SHIT HAPPENS. blah blah.f’ing blah.

    If anyone’s interested here’s a site that promotes buying locally as much as possible (and verifying what’s in your food).
    http://100milediet.org/

    http://plasticfree.blogspot.com/ (Vancouver woman’s commitment to
    living plastic-free. Lots of great tips & sources.)

    http://certifiedorganic.bc.ca/ (complete list of certified organic growers/suppliers in BC)

    http://noimpactman.typepad.com/blog/ (one New York family’s commitment to have a zero net impact on the environment)

  62. Lesley said,

    April 3, 2007 at 1:46

    bahahaha

    Hugely said,
    grampaw – which kind of troll are you?

    Hugely, isn’t it obvious? He’s an old troll.

  63. Righteous Bubba said,

    April 3, 2007 at 2:07

    Grampaw: I have a tough time reconciling the following two statements of yours:

    you’re going to have a damned hard time digging up an opponent of protectionism who also opposes product safety regulation.

    Your remarks concerning the Bush FDA are spot-on, though.

    It’s my impression that those who push free trade are precisely the people who don’t want regulations interfering with their profit margins, and a toothless FDA is just ducky for people who want to buy cheapo stuff from overseas to sell to whomever.

  64. kingubu said,

    April 3, 2007 at 2:43

    Bubba: t’s my impression that those who push free trade are precisely the people who don’t want regulations interfering with their profit margins

    Yup, safety regs, anti-trust laws, unions, anything that might dent unlimited exploitation and profit is “artificial interference” in the god-ordained and naturally-occurring market.

    I actually saw a glibertarian wingnut on TV recently who to pointed to America’s checkered past as a way to claim that sweatshops and child labor were just a natural part of economic development.; as if living wages, the 40-hour week, decent working conditions, etc. were all things that “just happened” instead of, you know, having to fought for (literally) every step of the way.

  65. Righteous Bubba said,

    April 3, 2007 at 2:55

    as if living wages, the 40-hour week, decent working conditions, etc. were all things that “just happened� instead of, you know, having to fought for (literally) every step of the way.

    Commies made life worth living in non-communist countries. How kooky is that?

  66. Tehanu said,

    April 3, 2007 at 5:18

    teh l4m3 said,

    April 2, 2007 at 16:49

    It’s only a matter of time before Halliburton inks an exclusive deal with Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd. to produce army rations.

    Entirely probable. Moreover, if and when I find myself stuck in post-Apocalyptic Australia, I will not eat anything out of a can.

    If only we could get Mel Gibson to re-shoot the dog food can scene in The Road Warrior

  67. D. Sidhe said,

    April 3, 2007 at 5:20

    Larry, you have my sympathies. My cat stopped eating last summer and lost a ton of weight, at which point we put her on wet foods which she likes better. Since she has food allergies, it’s been months of feeding her a variety of different foods, trying to find something she can tolerate and will eat. So I have a big collection of packets and cans from different brands that she decided she didn’t much like, that I was planning on giving to the food bank. Obviously, that’s not going to happen, and I’m glad I put that off for so long.

    Pounce was added to a “voluntary recall” list, apparently, and now they tell me it’s some precsription foods and dry foods as well. So I really don’t know what the hell to feed them. They’re getting Purina products right now, from a couple of bags of dried that I put away for emergencies last January–I was thinking earthquakes or whatever, but at least we have it. I’m hoping they’ll have solved it by the time it runs out. The other cat is eating Fancy Feast, which is Purina, but she hasn’t had any problems with it so far, and while Purina is recalling Alpo, I’m hoping to God that’s all. In any event, she simply won’t eat anything else, though I keep trying.

    They definitely have been eating brands that have been recalled, but so far the lot numbers of what we have left have been okay, assuming you believe them. And anything they finished off or I already gave away, I have no idea if it was safe or not. I’m just crossing my fingers.

    For the record, Nutro claims to be organic, it’s one of the recalled products, so even organic isn’t a safe bet. I find myself doubting that they have any control over whether it’s organic, at this point.

    I’ve written a number of exceedingly profane letters to a number of companies demanding to know why the hell they aren’t all testing *everything* at this point. It’s just letting off steam, really, since I expect, if anything, form letter replies.

    Personally, I can’t wait till the bastards start increasing prices so their CEOs don’t have to suffer from losing or settling lawsuits.

  68. aunt bea traven said,

    April 3, 2007 at 6:35

    the ricardian ‘comparative advantage’ of buying chinese wheat gluten, and paying importation costs, while simultaneously paying american farmers not to raise wheat; and yet still being (relatively) cheaper is a dodge. we are paying the chinese to support a poverty-stricken segment of their economy, at the same time as their cheap electronics and textiles bolstor our lower end consumer economy. bla bla bla my cat spit up an entire four piece place setting bla bla bla with daffodils bla bla bla. quit yer bitchin our food chain is already contaminated with mad cow (“its not a downer cow if we can get it to the kill floor before it keels over on its own!”).

  69. Lesley said,

    April 3, 2007 at 7:05

    For the record, Nutro claims to be organic, it’s one of the recalled products, so even organic isn’t a safe bet. I find myself doubting that they have any control over whether it’s organic, at this point.

    you got that right. The Organic Consumers Association is keeping an eye on factory farms and other corps that pass themselves off as organic but are just more big agri-business trying to cash in.

  70. D. Sidhe said,

    April 3, 2007 at 9:02

    I’m aware my cats and myself have probably already tucked into mad cow. As I understand it, the thing about cats is they don’t really live long enough for it to be much of an issue for them.

    I’ll bitch all I want about unsafe food for humans and pets and food animals, in fact. We deserve better. All of us, all across the globe. I suspect we’d be willing to pay for better, too. Perhaps less willing now that we’ve gotten used to cheap food, but I think those of us that could afford it would adjust, and those of us that couldn’t deserve better, too. They might, one hopes, benefit from increased wages and working conditions necessary to safely grow and process our food. I would absolutely support that. I also suspect that we’d be more willing to pay more for food if we didn’t know the CEOs were making out like bandits as profits rise.

    Regardless, I will bitch. I will agitate. I will write to my representatives, and to the companies involved. I will support companies that do better than this. I will donate to activists who can help. I will do all of this and anything else I can think of.

    I fully expect our species to be extinct or damned close to it within thirty years. That’s a lot of people who will dodge the mad cow bullet by dying of water shortages and famine and the accompanying violence, so, hey, lucky them, right? I should just sit back and wait to see who or what dies next of something preventable, since we’re all going to die anyway sooner or later.

    Anything else you want me stop bitching about since we’re all going to die anyway?

  71. Lesley said,

    April 3, 2007 at 9:56

    Consumers have enormous power. All it takes is a boycott to send a strong message. I decided twenty-six years ago to stop caring what friends, co-workers, and family members thought about my decision to stop buying fast food and mass produced meat products. If people decide they don’t want to know what’s in their food, that’s their choice.

    I’ve been boycotting the meat industry for twenty-six years and that many years ago no one had heard of mad cow. The news about this industry only gets worse, and what shields it is the lack of regulation. A few cases of mad cow get reported but that’s likely the tip of the iceberg because inspections are few and far between. I’m so glad I gave up factory farmed products when I did.

  72. owlbear1 said,

    April 3, 2007 at 10:27

    Its times like this I am glad I don’t own any pets or children.

  73. Anne Laurie said,

    April 3, 2007 at 14:12

    Repeatedly painting the nation as a sort of capitalist Mordor hardly makes you look like a paragon of international goodwill and understanding…

    Granpaw, when I read the Wall Street Journal, it’s the “capitalist Mordor” aspects of modern China that they really, really love — and endorse.

  74. John Manyjars said,

    April 3, 2007 at 15:06

    Man, a lot of animals have to die to make a few shareholders/CEO’s rich, and millions of insecure people temporarily happy.

    The poisoned pets are the tip of the iceberg, how ’bout the rest of it all- the slaughter of billions of farm animals, fur animals, medical/cosmetic/consumer product experiment animals…’dolphin-safe’ tuna…animal-skin ‘fashions’…’sports’ like hunting…

    Karmic retribution for it all hardly bears thinking about…

  75. mikey said,

    April 3, 2007 at 18:17

    Now that’s getting kinda wacky. I, along with most of my Homo Sapiens bretheren eat meat. You’re pretty much gonna have to kill the animal before you eat it, otherwise it’s likely to jump off your plate. And while I don’t hunt, I don’t have a problem with hunting. People have been killing animals since there have been people, and it’s kinda hard just to say “don’t do that anymore”. Besides, if you don’t know how to kill, clean and butcher animals, you really aren’t a truly competent human.

    I’m gonna suggest here that you need to convince humans to stop killing other humans out of hate and fear before you can begin to convince them to stop killing animals out of hunger…

    mikey

  76. stuart_b said,

    April 3, 2007 at 18:26

    Regarding the trade and agricultural issue, the wheat in question is probably not Chinese, but American (or Canadian, or Australian, or Argentinian, or Russian). I don’t recall that China grows significant amounts of wheat.

    The Chinese company presumably buys wheat, and uses the starch in food for the local market. I think gluten is used in making surimi, but it can also be sold like it was here.

  77. Righteous Bubba said,

    April 3, 2007 at 18:36

    I, along with most of my Homo Sapiens bretheren eat meat. You’re pretty much gonna have to kill the animal before you eat it, otherwise it’s likely to jump off your plate.

    This isn’t true for the majority of North Americans. Killing has nothing to do with the consumer.

    Besides, if you don’t know how to kill, clean and butcher animals, you really aren’t a truly competent human.

    Thanks Ted.

    I’m not a vegetarian by any stretch, but you can’t just blow off the arguments in its favour with absurdities.

  78. mikey said,

    April 3, 2007 at 18:43

    But, but, Bubba! I LIKE absurdities!! They…Amuse me!

    mikey

  79. Righteous Bubba said,

    April 3, 2007 at 18:46

    But, but, Bubba! I LIKE absurdities!! They…Amuse me!

    One of my favourite over-heard-in-a-movie comments came when I saw Babe in the theatre. The evil kitty is explaining humans using euphemisms for eating pig like ham and bacon and pork and so on.

    A little kid in the audience piped up: “Mom? Is that true?”

  80. tigrismus said,

    April 3, 2007 at 19:15

    I don’t recall that China grows significant amounts of wheat.

    The EU beats them as a region, but China is the largest wheat-growing country(in terms of production) in the world. They’re also the largest importer because they grow predominantly low-quality feed-grade wheat.

  81. norbizness said,

    April 3, 2007 at 19:18

    Edna: I don’t care what you say, I can taste the newspaper.

    Skinner: Posh, shredded newspapers have much needed roughage and essential inks. Besides, you didn’t notice the old Gym mats!

    Lunchlady Doris: There’s very little meat in these gym mats.

  82. Duros62 said,

    April 3, 2007 at 21:01

    Its times like this I am glad I don’t own any pets or children.

    Err, I’m pretty sure owning children is illegal.

  83. grampaw said,

    April 3, 2007 at 22:33

    It’s also funny that we’re supposed to import food from nations whose people are starving

    Not nearly all Chinese are starving, and there are people starving in the US, too, Retardo.

    Now here’s another reason your reflexive invocation of Darth Jintao is a bunch of race-flavored crap:

    Only 14% of US wheat gluten imports come from China. The US imports more than four times as much as that from Europe.

    So please, put down your beloved Yellow Hordes brickbat and start slagging Germany instead.

    And do you know why we import most of our wheat gluten from nice, more-socialist-than-the-US Europe?

    Because they subsidize it.

    So there’s your trade issue, if you absolutely refuse to grant a distinction between product safety issues and trade issues. What you want to be doing, if you oppose this on grounds of trade, is coming down against subsidies, which would make you a Free Trader yourself.

    If, on the other hand, you’re willing to pull your head out of your ass and grant the distinction between trade and public health, then you can go ahead and treat this as a product safety issue, to be addressed by product safety regulation in China and/or the US.

    And no, I am not going to stop calling you on your Greedy Chinamen fear-mongering, no matter how many times you tell me to go fuck myself, until you start educating yourself about the issues at hand before launching gleefully into those Big Scary China harangues of yours.

    Who the fuck are you trying to be with that shit, Retardo? Pat fucking Buchanan?

  84. Dan Someone said,

    April 3, 2007 at 23:30

    I was going to ask why it’s relevant that we import wheat gluten from Germany when the contaminated wheat gluten du jour is imported from China; and why it’s racist to discuss China’s efforts to become a (or the) dominant economic superpower over the next several decades…

    …but then I realized this is probably an old fight between HTML and grampaw that has very little to do with those issues at all.

  85. Mehitabel the Abyssinian said,

    April 3, 2007 at 23:59

    According to the NAFTA model, the basic trade agreement itself makes any merely ‘national’ laws open to challenge by companies located in any of the trading nations.
    So these international trade agreements are quite conscious moves by the international capital class to actually reverse the model of the Republic, in which a people can determine which laws govern them.

    Yes, but that supposed loss of sovereignty is only supposed to affect the junior partners in a free-trade agreement. When the US government responds to internal lobbies by imposing a trade barrier to some import or another in breach of a trade agreement (Australian wheat; New Zealand lamb; Canadian softwood, was it?), the affected country is essentially powerless to do anything about it, what with WTO arbitration procedures moving as slowly as a snail on a hot day. With a big load of shopping.

    So in this situation, if a US company is importing a food-based product which happens to be toxic, it’s not because the nasty all-powerful world-trading-framework is preventing the US from doing anything about it. If US regulators wanted to test the products, and ban them on account of your irrational dislike of industrial contamination, then they might indeed be in breach of the spirit or the letter of international trade law, but it’s not as if anyone would be penalised for it.

    Del Monte is getting the cheapest foodstock it can, which happens to come from China, and if they cared whether it was wholesome or poisonous, then they would test it. If the cheapest source of wheat gluten happened to be within the US, then they would use that instead, but do you think they would be any more concerned about testing it? Or again, if there happened to be a domestic wheat-gluten industry with a loud enough lobbying voice, then barriers to Chinese imports would go up, but it wouldn’t make the food any safer.

    Seems to me that the Chineseness of the supplier is irrelevant here (except for providing the FDA with a convenient scapegoat).

  86. Righteous Bubba said,

    April 4, 2007 at 0:15

    Seems to me that the Chineseness of the supplier is irrelevant here.

    Truly. Grampaw’s all for defending the Chinese, but trade and justice are blind. The raising of China to modernity or cuddly-bunniness is a hoped-for secondary effect of dropping trade barriers, but when the Chinese stop being so cheap the rising tide will supposedly lift Estonians, Argentinians or the Sudanese from poverty and leave the Chinese to rot.

    If trade is a substitute for government what happens when nobody wants to trade?

  87. grampaw said,

    April 4, 2007 at 0:18

    I was going to ask why it’s relevant that we import wheat gluten from Germany

    It’s relevant because Retardo insists this is a trade issue. Try to pay attention.

    when the contaminated wheat gluten du jour

    And now you’re talking about product safety. See how that works?

    and why it’s racist to discuss China’s efforts to become a (or the) dominant economic superpower over the next several decades…

    Because you have no evidence whatsoever to support that particular asserted motivation, rather than, say, a widespread desire to industrialize and enjoy the comforts and luxuries that inhabitants of First World countries take for granted. There are other motivations, of course, and no one of them is the One True Reason, because human societies almost never work according to neat, easily-grasped, mechanistic urgings like the one you’ve tagged all of China with.

    And that, Dan, is why it is racist to suggest that China’s economic situation is the result of a grasping yet craven population of Orcs led by pigopolist greedhead Nazgûl* seeking the One True Ring of Globalist Dominion.

    -

    * I had to look that up. Thank you, wikipedia nerds.

  88. Luna said,

    April 4, 2007 at 1:35

    “A few cases of mad cow get reported but that’s likely the tip of the iceberg because inspections are few and far between.”

    That is for sure! When one of the cases was reported here (Canada), my grandfather was swearing up a storm about the “stupid farmer” who reported it. Apparently, in order to get his insurance to pay for it, he had to report it. Most farmers just slaughter and then burn the corpse. Grandpa was furious.

  89. Luna said,

    April 4, 2007 at 1:40

    Bubba said: One of my favourite over-heard-in-a-movie comments came when I saw Babe in the theatre. The evil kitty is explaining humans using euphemisms for eating pig like ham and bacon and pork and so on.

    They’re not euphemisms though. Pork/pig, beef/cow, mutton/sheep, venison/deer. The food words are French origin. The animal words are anglo-saxon origin. When the Normans conquered England, the ruling class were the only ones who could afford to eat meat. So the French words stuck as the words for the meat and the English words remained as the words for the animals (whom the English were tending).

    /language geekery

    *does the happy dance* My degrees came in handy! It’s one of the first times ever!

  90. Luna said,

    April 4, 2007 at 1:43

    I’ve never been so glad to have Celiac Disease! Our household is gluten free.

  91. Righteous Bubba said,

    April 4, 2007 at 1:58

    They’re not euphemisms though.

    You’re right, but that’s the case the kitty is making in Babe: cover words to pretend they’re not slaughtering cute little piggies. In the case of the kid I overheard, the words functioned as obfuscations of the truth. Poor thing. I wanted to buy him a hot-dog.

  92. Righteous Bubba said,

    April 4, 2007 at 1:59

    Fuckin’ fuckety-fuck fuckin’ tags.

  93. g said,

    April 4, 2007 at 4:47

    I thought I was Oh So Good for buying Alpo instead of the supermarket brands that were on the first recall, then to my horror and surprise I discover that I have fed the Geriatric Deaf Malamute and the Geriatric Skill-deformed Rottweiller at leat 2 1/2 cans of the recalled Alpo.

    They don’t seem much worse for the wear, though. They have pretty tough guts.

    However, now they get table scraps with their kibble. The Rottweiller, having been adopted from a part-Indian family, seems to like leftover basmatic rice pretty well.

    I’m not going back to canned food. To hell with it, it just makes their poop more runny.

    Although when will we find out there’s toxic contaminants in kibble?

  94. mikey said,

    April 4, 2007 at 5:05

    Ummm. Pet owners? Beuler?

    g, I may be wrong, but I think the wheat gluten thing is all kibble. I don’t have pets or even potted plants, but be careful with your families out there, guys…

    mikey

  95. Herr Doktor Bimler said,

    April 4, 2007 at 6:13

    Geriatric Skill-deformed Rottweiller
    I get skill-deformed myself, sometimes… the typing skills are the first to go. Especially after a Mortician or two of whisky.

  96. El Cid said,

    April 4, 2007 at 6:23

    So in this situation, if a US company is importing a food-based product which happens to be toxic, it’s not because the nasty all-powerful world-trading-framework is preventing the US from doing anything about it. If US regulators wanted to test the products, and ban them on account of your irrational dislike of industrial contamination, then they might indeed be in breach of the spirit or the letter of international trade law, but it’s not as if anyone would be penalised for it.

    So, I’m right, and my analysis of how decisions happen under the anti-democratic framework of trade agreements is correct, but you’d rather point out that the US leadership is still able to game the system to their interests.

    So, if current policies and frameworks are continued, and it so happens that in 10 or 20 years that “nasty all-powerful world-trading-framework” becomes much more efficient in overturning US laws and regulations, then it might be worth thinking about, but right now it’s just crazy for lunatic fringe elements like myself to point out the obvious consequences of anti-democratic trade agreements.

    (Although probably more directly relevant to bring up if one generally talks about food safety is the Reagan-era crusade to weaken food safety inspections by slashing the inspectors’ staff.)

  97. Mehitabel the Abyssinian said,

    April 4, 2007 at 6:32

    So, I’m right… but you’d rather point out that the US leadership is still able to game the system to their interests.

    Yes, I would. Cats are like that. Petty and vindictive, all the way through.

  98. D. Sidhe said,

    April 4, 2007 at 7:30

    The wheat gluten in this case is so far apparently mostly in the form of a starch to thicken gravy and sauces for canned foods. This doesn’t really explain the Pounce, though, so as far as I’m concerned, the companies are still most likely lying to us or delaying testing of all their products.

  99. Herr Doktor Bimler said,

    April 4, 2007 at 13:19

    The FDA ordered “detention without examination� of wheat gluten from Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Co. Ltd.
    So are they stockpiling the feckin’ stuff at Guantanamo Bay, or sending it to Bagram Air Base?

  100. Dr BLT copy cat said,

    April 5, 2007 at 1:40

    In a transparent Keith Richardsesque copy cat act (no pun intended), I snorted my cat’s ashes. That’s how I dealt with the loss of my cat who ingested this contaminated food. Oh, by the way, I’m already working on a song about Keith Richards snorting his father. It’s called Father Nose Best. Here’s a little flavor of the lyrics.

    Father nose best

    I know that he’d approve

    snorting father’s ashes

    is a groovy thing to do

    mix it with some magic dust

    and it goes up real smooth

    father nose best

    now he’s in me, too…

  101. mikey said,

    April 5, 2007 at 2:44

    Dood. If the best you can do is try to rhyme “approve” and “do”, you’re keeping on meter and still sucking canal water.

    How bout:

    Father nose best
    I know that he’d approve
    Snorting Father’s ashes
    In the basement of the Louvre

    Or
    Snorting father’s ashes
    Caused my bowels to move

    Or something. C’mon, little effort here, don’t mail it in…

    mikey

  102. Les Izmore said,

    April 5, 2007 at 15:26

    Grampaws right kids. There are 800 million people in poverty in China. In the last 20 years 500 million people in China were lifted out of poverty. Famine and starvation are almost non-existent. So in 20 years they will have ended poverty in their country. (Just using the same kind of simple minded mathematical thinking you China haters use) Right now the big bad government is prosecuting MacDonalds and KFC for underpaying their part time workers by about 33%. Businessmen who are convicted of corruption or killing and poisoning people by by terminally unsafe workplaces or purposely adulterated food are executed by firing squad. It is true that their standards are way lower than those on the books in the US and the people who live here are paying the price. The growing middle class also know it and pressure is increasing to raise standards and hold businesses and, more importantly individuals, legally accountable. Meanwhile, the US has gutted its consumer and food supply protection enforcement and thanks to the courts’ interpretation of corporate responsibility when was the last US executive criminally held to account? How would you have the Chinese enter the developed world? Or are they just too late, poor starving yellow buggers. Get a grip. They want big screen TVs, SUVs and personal watercraft too! (well actually they think jetskis are just stupid) You really do need to give up your Sino-phobia. You’re totally getting played by trans national corporations on this one.

  103. Sadly, No! » This & That said,

    April 11, 2007 at 12:49

    [...] Chris Wok, offers this bit of WTFery. I provide this link, along with extended middle finger, to horrible pooptard troll Grampaw who delights in smearing as racists those who do not share his free trade dogma. Who are the [...]

  104. Twisted_Colour said,

    April 12, 2007 at 2:41

    Horses for courses…….

  105. Mike said,

    May 1, 2007 at 23:21

    The feds will just side with the so called scientists and backup bogus claims like “low exposure isn’t considered harmful”. This, while the cancer rates keep climbing.
    Bucking fastards.

  106. Tina Gregoire said,

    July 1, 2007 at 22:49

    I had a hunch that our ingestibles came from China. Where can a regular mom-type go for decent (local) food?

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