By Michael Isberto |Staff Writer|
We deserve to know where our food comes from and most importantly what we are consuming.
Very soon, we won’t know where any of our meats come from due to deregulation laws that will remove labels from meat products. Isn’t it our right to know where our food comes from?
Go ahead—shove that perfectly juicy cheeseburger in your mouth.
Now, here are three words for you: mad-cow-disease.
People are soon to forget the devastating affects of the disease that started in the United Kingdom.
According to CNN, there have been 229 cases of mad cow disease between 1996 and 2014.
We should be informed so that we have the control to make these decisions for ourselves.
“Lawmakers said they had no choice but to get rid of the labels,” reported NBC News.
“After the World Trade Organization repeatedly ruled against them,” continued NBC.
The World Trade Organization is the main perpetrator and reason why we soon won’t have labels.
“The World Trade Organization (WTO) is the only global international organization dealing with the rules of trade between nations,” stated WTO website. “The goal is to help producers of goods and services, exporters and importers conduct their business.”
The WTO is the main perpetrator for our new labeling laws but Canada and Mexico can equally be blamed.
“The WTO recently authorized Canada and Mexico, which had challenged the law, to begin more than $1 billion in economic retaliation against the United States,” reported NBC News.
Before the U.S. House of Representatives voted in 2015 to repeal Country of Origin labeling on meat products, we knew exactly where our meat was coming from and even where it was slaughtered.
Now, it’ll be more of a guessing game.
Like so many people out there, I love a good cheeseburger and a delicious steak from a backyard grill.
However, I want to know that what I’m feeding my body is clean and is coming from a place that I trust to be safe, I want to know that I won’t get sick.
If I hear about a food borne illness outbreak in a certain area, I want to know that what I’m eating isn’t from that particular place.
In an article titled “The 10 Worst U.S. Foodborne Illness Outbreaks of 2014,” No. 7 on the list was “Foster Farms chicken Salmonella outbreak, 634 total sickened, including 218 in 2014,” according to Food Safety News.
“The outbreak spanned more than 17 months, making it one of longest-running outbreaks in recent memory,” stated FSN.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported, in 2015, the pork industry was also hit hard with an outbreak of salmonella in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California and Alaska linked to pork produced by Kapowsin Meats.
We may not be able to prevent sickness or outbreaks in general, but this type of knowledge can help us protect our families and ourselves.
I suggest we fight to keep Country of Origin labels on our meat products.
And if that fails, maybe we should boycott meat products all together and become vegetarians.
Maybe proper labeling won’t help us at all, perhaps meat is inherently bad itself. Maybe correctly identifying and allowing us to trace its origins won’t prevent other disease outbreaks.
Chipotle is one of my favorite fast food restaurants. It’s quick, easy, fresh and feels a little healthier than other fast food options we have.
When I heard about the recent outbreak of E. coli within
Chipotle, I stopped going immediately and haven’t gone since. I’d rather miss out on my favorite burrito than take a chance on getting sick.
Not everyone will decide to stop going to one of their favorite restaurants when they hear of an outbreak, but I believe the information should be available regardless.
Restaurants should provide patrons transparency of where their meats and produce originate.
Lawmakers said they had no choice, reported NBC news. But there is always a choice.
“So, basically, Canada and Mexico, at the end, were in a position, because this is how it works, to say to the U.S., ‘Either kill the law or pay $2 billion in trade sanctions every year’—every year—for the right of knowing where our meat comes from,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, in an interview with Democracy Now. “And [Congress] gutted the law. So, if you go to the grocery store now, you’re going to notice that’s gone.”
Paying a billion dollars a year in tariffs is an insane amount of money but it just shows the priority of Congress, that they would rather save money than take care of their people.
Congress is putting everyone’s health in danger.
Our country should be taking care of us and looking out for our best interests.
I don’t care how the Canadian and Mexican meat industries are doing
however, I do care about my family’s health and mine.
We need to keep labeling our food products and not allow anonymous overseas officials tell us we can’t know where our meat comes from, we have the right to know.