The melamine-spiking story continues to build, and so far nothing about it offers any reason for comfort. HorsesAss offers a mortifying blow-by-blow here, and after reading it you have to wonder not whether you have Chinese melamine in your system, but how much. He also points to the curious tone and timing of a joint USDA/FDA release that tries awfully hard to convince us that eating melamine-soaked pork isn’t a danger. I don’t have any statistics here, but my own experience leads me to believe that releases like this are often followed by revelations that, well, maybe it’s worse than we thought.
Last week I raised hell here about a basic concept – where’s our regulatory line of defense against this sort of thing? Not only do agencies like the FDA have a fundamental mission to protect us, but Dubya has made a lot of noise about putting resources into this very sort of thing.
- 2004: Bush orders anti-terror measures for food supply.
- 2005: Bush administration increases funding for protection of U.S. food supply.
- Now he chalks it up in the win column.
Feel like a win to you?
While the ostensible impetus there is to protect us from terrorism – not a bad idea, really – there’s nothing about the idea that Chinese manufacturers have been systematically pumping us, our pets and our children full of chemicals to inspire confidence, is there? How are we going to deal with a concerted terrorist effort when we’re struggling on business-as-usual?
There’s precisely nothing that prevents us from suspecting that this problem is worse than we know. I’m not normally an alarmist, and I’m not counseling you to go run around your yard screaming that the sky is falling. But this is a Very Bad ThingÂ©. I’m not a proponent of what my conservative friends like to call Big Government, but I’m a huge fan of the government we have doing its job.
I’ve heard from the USDA and the FDA in recent days, but has anybody heard a peep out of our Feckless Leader or any of his E-coli conservative running buddies?
[Thanks to Gary Greene for pointing me toward some of the linkage here.]