food safety


And to think, the school complains about what WE eat on our own, when they serve us bad meat. I think it’s best to pack peanut butter sandwiches from home for now.

Austin school district confirms it also has possibly tainted meat

This note is displayed on the outside of crates of beef in the RRISD store room.

This note is displayed on the outside of crates of beef in the RRISD store room.
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The Austin Independent School District confirmed it has 1,000 cases of potentially bad meat on hold in its South Austin warehouse.

This news comes one day after AISD told CBS 42’s Julie Simon it hadn’t used the company in question’s meat in over a year.

This is all started after the USDA ordered all meat coming from the Westland Meat Company in California be put on hold.

Westland meat goes to school districts all across Texas. Round Rock Independent School District immediately said it had put 625 cases on hold. AISD though said it didn’t have any of the questionable beef….

That turns out to not be the case; AISD now says they did receive shipments of Westland meat as recently as last year. AISD pulled the meat from circulation once the USDA ordered a hold on all Westland beef.

The USDA ordered the hold after seeing a videotape recorded undercover by the Humane Society of the United States, which allegedly shows cattle that were too sick to walk being processed for food.

The AISD food services director says none of the meat made it into school lunches. She refused an on-camera interview Tuesday and our request to get video of the cases of beef on hold was denied.

The meat, now on hold at school districts across Texas, cannot be thrown away. Instead, the USDA has to complete its investigation and tell the districts what to do next.

bush's legacyIt seems that George W is concerned about his legacy, and he is talking to a biographer named Robert Draper:

In book, Bush peeks ahead to his legacy

In an interview with a book author in the Oval Office one day last December, President George W. Bush daydreamed about the next phase of his life, when his time will be his own.

The articles talks about these kinds of issues

First, Bush said, “I’ll give some speeches, just to replenish the ol’ coffers.” With joint assets that have been estimated at as high as nearly $21 million, Bush added, “I don’t know what my dad gets – it’s more than 50-75” thousand dollars a speech, and “Clinton’s making a lot of money.”

Then he said, “We’ll have a nice place in Dallas,” where he will be running what he called “a fantastic Freedom Institute” promoting democracy around the world. But he added, “I can just envision getting in the car, getting bored, going down to the ranch.”

and

The transcripts and the book show Bush as being keenly interested in what history will say about his term despite his frequent comments to the contrary; as being in a reflective mode as his time at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue dwindles; and, ultimately, as being at once sorrowful and optimistic – but virtually alone as commander in chief, and aware of it.

Here is the worst line in the whole article:

And in apparent reference to the invasion of Iraq, he continued, “This group-think of ‘we all sat around and decided’ – there’s only one person that can decide, and that’s the president.”

HE just wants to make money, but I think that his real legacy will include these:

  1. a million people dead because of wars that we started
  2. 3000 dead at Ground Zero, flight 93 and the Pentagon, with bin Ladin still on the loose and not even a suspect by the CIA
  3. an unsolved anthrax terrorism case that killed five people
  4. increased opium exports all around the world
  5. privatization of everything from highways to schools to prisons hospitals to the maintenance of Walter Reed hospital and rehab
  6. many millions of uninsured and underinsured Americans with no access to decent health care when they need it
  7. the drowning of a city and a whole section of another state
  8. hard times for poor people, and a whole lot more poor people
  9. most of his administration resigning on him, and some of them being investigated and tried and convicted for crimes
  10. having the whole world hate us
  11. almost (I hope) starting a war with Iran
  12. stealing elections
  13. having hookers in the white house pretending to be reporters
  14. the giant corporations having a super time while the planet heats up and regular people suffer
  15. high gas prices and high prices to heat houses
  16. spying on Americans without a warrant or even telling the FISA court
  17. locking up Americans for years without a trial
  18. locking up thousands of other people in torture camps with no lawyers and no rights
  19. making students only learn stuff that is tested in April and not the important things in each subject

I bet George won’t talk about those things when he has speaking tours. (He’ll get more for one talk than my whole family has in a year!) What do you think his legacy will be? Can someone please call the Hague?

Like most of my political posts, this is cross-posted at
Political Teen Tidbits and at YouThinkLeft.

live turkeyWhy isn’t this story being publicized everywhere? And do we really need even more reasons to start eating vegetarian?

Avian flu at Va. farm prompts more testing

More than 50,000 turkeys on a farm west of Mount Jackson tested positive for avian flu antibodies, prompting additional testing and surveillance at area poultry farms, officials said.

The infected birds will be killed and composted on site, said Hobey Bauhan, president of the Virginia Poultry Federation.

To prevent spread of the virus, more testing and surveillance will be conducted within a six-mile radius of the farm and at the more than 1,000 poultry farms in the Shenandoah Valley, Bauhan said.

The turkeys, which were ready to be sent to the slaughterhouse, tested positive during a routine pre-slaughter test by the Virginia
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services on Friday, Bauhan said.

Avian flu spreads when infected birds transmit the virus through saliva, nasal secretions and feces, and other birds have contact with contaminated secretions or excretions, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

“This strain doesn’t have any effect on people and it produces only mild symptoms, if any, in birds,” he said.

Although the subtype of avian flu found in the turkeys poses no risk to human health, federal and state officials are concerned
that the strain can change into a more pathogenic form that causes higher mortality in birds.

You may have noticed that under the Cheney-Bush Administration, most federal agencies are almost out of a job, and exist only so that the industries they regulate can police themselves, hint hint, wink wink. We saw it with the group that was supposed to inspect coal mines, and with food safety and air safety and all safety. Well, check this out, especially they part they put in bold and the part I marked in red:

A new amendment, called Section 123, was quietly added to Title I of the 2007 Farm Bill a few weeks ago, and it is a huge step backwards on food safety. If passed, it would hamstring state and local food safety efforts by wiping out critical authority on meat, poultry and biotechnology.

The sweeping language of Section 123 would prevent states from prohibiting the sale of USDA-inspected products. This provision could prevent local health inspectors at a supermarket from condemning contaminated meat or spoiled poultry! Since 90% of food inspections are done at the state and local level, the impact could be severe.

Section 123 also prohibits states from passing laws that protect animal welfare, such as laws on horse slaughter and sale of horsemeat.

Finally, Section 123 prohibits state and local laws on biotechnology — such as laws to review whether or not to grow genetically-engineered rice in a state.

After recent problems with Melamine in pet and livestock feed, Listeria in chicken, and E. coli in spinach and ground beef, we should be strengthening our food safety system, not weakening it! Tell your Representative to stand up for food safety and oppose Section 123 in the Farm Bill.

There is a petition to sign and also a request to call Congress.