On Globalization and Being Globalized: USDA Enforcing Supply-Sided Global Risk Expansion in Meat; Locals Want To Help Consumers, & Are Banned For It
The above picture is from Morning Musume, and in this case is used to represent the Japanese saying "No! No! No American beef without mad cow testing!" However, that is just what the corporate multinationals that run the U.S. meat regime want--to force Japanese consumption of risky beef just as they have forced consumption of risky beef in the United States.
The quote from the previous post sticks in my mind here. The quote was by "retired" army commander of Peru Ollanta Humala, who led a failed military uprising in October 2000 in Peru, and who is now ahead in the opinion polls for the Peruvian Presidency. This is a shade of Venezuela since Chavez came to power in just the same manner: first through a military coup attempt that failed, and then through elections.
Frontrunner of Peru, Ollanta Humala, dismisses the role of multinational companies that "offer no benefits" and "the neo-liberal economic model that has failed to benefit our nation". He speaks of a new division in the world:
"Some countries globalise, and others are globalised," is how he puts it. "The Third World belongs in the latter category."
If anything is clear in the early 21st century, the whole world is the Third World now. From the point of view of the multnationals and their allied financial powers, the Third World is to include everyone, even so called 'relic' First World countries.
This is very clear with the globalization of U.S. meat packing. In Humala's view both Japan and the United States are on the receiving end of "being globalized" instead of being the globalizers--since with reference to meat both Japan and the United States are seen as completely unable to protect their citizens health in the face of of "being globalized." Japan and the United States are seen as hardly in a position of power themselves since the First World has shrunk to the size of the corporate boardroom.
This is clear with the article below. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has refused to allow a private meat farmer in Kansas to test his cattle more thoroughly for mad cow, short for bovine spongiform encephalopathy. To regain the globalized markets that the U.S. supposedly claims they want, that Kansas's Creekstone Farms have lost due to poor USDA testing, Creekstone Farms wants to do what the consumers want. The USDA hates that and has banned Creekstone Farms from testing its cattle--even though this basically means the USDA is claiming ownership of all private cattle in the United States by this act!
The rub is that the Japanese have taken the "high road." They require universal mad cow testing--a more thorough testing than the USDA and the corporate multinationals want, because it will endanger their profit lines. Plus, due to their larger scaled operations it is surmized that with ecological factors of where disease crops up, the larger operators will be the ones with the most prevalent and virulent mad cow cases. Testing universally for mad cow like the Japanese do would pretty much show that the optimal size for beef farms would be very small instead of very large and contribute to putting these risky large scale meat farms slowly out of business. This makes good health, ecological, and economic sense for them to wither away as well.
However, the U.S. even with its abysmally low testing rate that the USDA threatens publicly to scale back even further, still has "accidentally" caught 3 mad cows over the past several years.
Ponder on this: Japan tests all its cattle universally at 30 months. They have found 24 mad cows. The U.S. tests 1% or less, and then likely covers up others if the whole media fiasco of "blaming Canada" for a previous one shows anything. All in all, the U.S. has found 3 mad cows. Extrapolate that ratio of testing/mad cow up to 100x, and U.S. mad cow cases would likely be very high--approximately 300 or more cases--though those mad cows are ground up, sliced, diced, and disposed of by consumers out there in the United States and in Japan.
One farm, Creekstone Farms, is going to sue the USDA for denying its right to test its own products more thoroughly for mad cow. Certainly this is in the interest of the consumer to do so, however, since the USDA denies them this right, they are going to court over it. This is yet another clear example of the supply versus demand framework, as mentioned in previous posts.
Tying this back to the bioregional state, since local watersheds would have jurisdictional priority over all commodity production and health issues and their interrelated regulations, within the bioregional state this issue of a federal government attempting to ban someone from protecting the consumer would structurally be out of bounds from the beginning, since the federal government would lack such power. (They fail to have it anyway right now, showing how rogue it is.)
Thus in the bioregional state the federal level would be unable to "trump" local levels desires to protect the consumer more securely than the federal level wishes. In this case, using the terms of a previous post related to labelling and pollution which are basically the same issue here, the USDA defends a "glass ceiling" approach to regulation instead of a mere base line approach. The federal government in the United States is systemically institutionalizing a risky context and forcing it on the people of the United States, Japan, as well as the world. How this works out in practice is discussed already previously so I quote:
Within the bioregional state...the federal government would be without any form of priority of jurisdiction over health or environmental issues per se. Certainly they could set standards, and be a citizen's recourse to police against corruption on a state level standard, though the issue is one of priority. It is mistaken for a federal government to utilize "standards" as an interpretation of a glass ceiling instead of a foundation. Using "standards" as a glass ceiling is only aimed at demoting local desires for making their own states more sustainable, when standards should only be lower level foundational instead of a form of enforced upper bounded uniformity. From a previous post on a similar issue of labelling:
"Consumer rights shall always trump supply side rights of organizations and sellers when it comes to any of the issues of (a) basic knowledge about the commodity; (b) the capacity for discriminative choice from the point of view of the consumer which shall be maintained; (c) when it comes to issues of individual and public health, (d) of ecological interactive effects, and (e) of economic sustainability.
In issues of human health, ecological issues, and economic sustainability, the smaller jurisdictional level has more awareness, knowledge, and interest in these endeavors; therefore jurisdictional sovereignty of smaller jurisdiction over the larger state should be the uniform principle in these issues of material commodity regulation."
Of course one of the theoretical dangers of this is that states will force on their populations lower standards than the federal government in health or environmental laws. However, this has hardly been the case. Typically, first, states have always been at the forefront of aiding human health and environmental concerns against an unresponsive larger federal level. Thus states with jurisdictional priority within federal foundational standards (instead of glass ceiling standards) I think is a better principle to bring about toward sustainbility, in the bioregional state. [pollution post] [labelling post]
This same principle of federal "base line" regulations instead of "glass ceiling" regulations for commodity production in the bioregional state I think you can see covers multiple issues from labelling, testing, health, ecology, and economy. The state itself requires changing because it is enforcing unsustainability as a political movement presently worldwide: the whole framework of the state is enforcing ill health, destroying ecologies, and destroying economies by attempting to repress local groups and consumers desires to ameliorate such frameworks. Current forms of states are illegitimate for sustainability because they are for the most part repressing the consumer and the local watershed interest. Toward a Bioregional State works toward starting a conversation on all the additional checks and balances required to move us toward formal sustainability, i.e., how the state could be "made over". At last count, there were over 60 different additional checks and balances required to make democracy more competitive. This interacts with bringing about sustainabilty innately because the main issue is the one discussed above: how a gatekept framework of power is both undemocratic as well as a source of only enforcing risk upon everyone.
Feds REFUSE To Let Private Kansas Meatpacker Test For Mad Cow; Creekstone Farms to Sue Feds
Japan and Europe require testing for ***all cows at slaughter*** (all cows 24 months and older in Japan, all cows 30 months and older in EU).
The U.S. has been testing around 1 percent of the 35 million head of cattle slaughtered each year, although officials have been planning to scale back that level of testing [in the wake of finding mad cow in this small sample.].
"There isn't any nation in the world that requires 100 percent testing," Agricultural department spokesman Ed Loyd said [as a bold faced lie on] Wednesday. [He's lying to the entire American people, as per his job. The Japanese and Europeans do it already. People who pay Ed Loyd to lie are the people "protecting you."]
Feds REFUSE To Let KS Meatpacker Test For Mad Cow!!
Government Refusal to Let Kansas Meatpacker Test Cows for Mad Cow Disease Spurs Lawsuit
Web Note: The USDA obviously doesn't want the private sector to start testing for Mad Cow Disease in the USA, because they know the disease is here, and it is spreading. Japan and Europe require testing for all cows at slaughter (all cows 24 months and older in Japan, all cows 30 months and older in EU).
CBS News - USA
Meatpacker Sparks Mad Cow Testing Fight
WASHINGTON, Mar. 22, 2006
By Libby Quaid
(AP) A Kansas meatpacker has sparked an industry fight by proposing testing all the company's cattle for mad cow disease.
Creekstone Farms Premium Beef wants to look for the disease in every animal it processes. The Agriculture Department has said no. Creekstone says it intends to sue the department.
"Our customers, particularly our Asian customers, have requested it over and over again," chief executive John Stewart said in an interview Wednesday. "We feel strongly that if customers are asking for tested beef, we should be allowed to provide that."
Creekstone planned a news conference Thursday in Washington to discuss the lawsuit.
The department and larger meat companies oppose comprehensive testing, saying [more like claiming] it cannot assure food safety. [actually because the larger they are the less profits they can make, because such large operations are going to be the very ones that are spreading mad cow and diseases because of innate ecological difficulties with scaled commodities.] Testing rarely detects the disease in younger animals, the source of most meat.
"There isn't any nation in the world that requires 100 percent testing," department spokesman Ed Loyd said Wednesday. [lie]
Larger companies worry that Japanese buyers would insist on costly testing and that a suspect result might scare consumers away from eating beef. [as they should be scared- out of their wits as soon as possible].
Japan was the most lucrative foreign market for American beef until the first U.S. case of mad cow disease prompted a ban in 2003. The ban cost Creekstone nearly one-third of its sales and led the company to slash production and lay off about 150 people, Stewart said.
When Japan reopened its market late last year, Creekstone resumed shipments. Japan has halted shipments again, after finding American veal cuts with backbone. These cuts are eaten in the U.S. but are banned in Japan.
Stewart said that when trade resumes with Japan, Creekstone is in a position to rehire the laid-off workers and then some.
Creekstone would need government certification for its plan to test each animal at its Arkansas City, Kan., plant. The department refused the license request in 2004.
The U.S. has been testing around 1 percent of the 35 million head of cattle slaughtered each year, although officials have been planning to scale back that level of testing.
While individual companies in Japan may want comprehensive testing, Japan's government is not asking for it.
Japan does have lingering questions about the shipment of prohibited veal, even after the U.S. sent a lengthy report to Tokyo explaining the mistake was an isolated incident. The report blamed the company, Brooklyn-based Atlantic Veal & Lamb, and a government inspector for misunderstanding new rules for selling beef to Japan.
Japan's agriculture minister, Shoichi Nakagawa, said Wednesday that further talks are needed.
"We do want to keep going back and forth with the U.S. over this issue," he said. "We want the U.S. side to squarely answer our questions."
The U.S. has had three cases of mad cow disease. The first appeared in December 2003 in a Washington state cow that had been imported from Canada. The second was confirmed last June in a Texas-born cow, and the third was confirmed last week in an Alabama cow.
Japan has had two dozen cases of BSE.
Mad cow disease is a brain-wasting ailment known medically as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE. In people, eating meat products contaminated with BSE is linked to more than 150 deaths worldwide, mostly in Britain, from a deadly human nerve disorder, variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.
On the Net:
Creekstone Farms: http://www.creekstonefarmspremiumbeef.com/
Agriculture Department: http://www.usda.gov