When I was a kid, I used to love those old Keystone Kops movies. They were the kind with the bumbling policemen getting into all sorts of trouble, never doing things right.
In the recent salmonella tomato plague, The Food and Drug Administration is whining that it is impossible to trace the origin of the tainted tomatoes. To this, most rational thinking people reply "Bullshit."
We all know that this is an election year. Nobody wants to cross the Mexican Agri-business lobby, the Mexican Government, and the MILLIONS of Latino-American voters. Nobody is willing to say "hey, let's check Mexico!"
So the FDA makes lots of motion and lots of sound to make it look like they are doing something, while they are doing nothing. We're talking about an agency that is implicated in countless scandals involving the deep pockets of The Big Pharma Lobby. We're talking about an agency that has the manpower to round up and burn books with recipes that use the herbs Stevia and Salvina Divinorum.
We can put men on the moon and we can spot an Al Qaida training camp miles above from space, yet we can't bring ourselves to admit that tainted tomatoes come from Mexican growers who routinely irrigate their fields with raw sewage. Major news outlets have documented the practice, and millions of Mexican field workers are witness.
When the E-coli spinach outbreak happened in 2006, it was easy to find the source because it came in bags with barcodes, allowing for easy location of the suppliers and growers responsible. When that happened, we were given the "wandering pig" excuse. Supposedly some wild pigs wandered amongst the crops and contaminated them. Back then, people said "bullshit," also.
Since then, consumer advocacy groups from around the country have been tirelessly demanding that the FDA require tracking procedures in the produce industry. For years, the FDA has stoutly refused. It takes an average of 20 years to develop and gain approval for a new drug, yet filthy, raw sewage can travel right into our country upon the food we eat. What's wrong with that picture?