upton sinclair
Upton Sinclair
Consider E.coli and the recent ramifications of the outbreak to be repeated warnings. But only today's brief news items noted in newspapers sound any warning of what is a plague. The last time this country was jolted into action on food safety was in 1906. Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle, a detailed exposé of the Chicago meat packing industry. As a direct result, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act. A hundred years have passed since Sinclair warned the nation. Today with all the dirty hands involved in the food on our plates, we need another Upton.

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The Grump's temporary advisory:
Never eat any food shipped into the United States
from a nation with no indoor plumbing.

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cruise ship
        The steamed shrimp looked good: That was the lead by St. Petersburg Times reporter Wes Allison. He wrote (June 23, 2000) that about 200 people became sick aboard Disney Magic after eating buffet shrimp on June 2, 2000, the day the ship departed Cape Canaveral for a four-day float to Nassau, Bahamas. Also, 38 crew members became sick, vomiting with a weekend of diarrhea.
        Disney Lines did report to CDC which inspects all liners visiting US ports. On the fifth day while back in port, CDC inspectors boarded the ship, found no problems with the galley or the water supply. The ship embarked that afternoon for another four-day run.
        Allison's story said Disney "has stopped buying shrimp from the packer that supplied it that day.”
        CDC advised complaining passengers who were still sick upon departing to tell their doctors “that they may have been exposed to an enteric pathogen while aboard the Magic. And doctors treating them should request bacterial cultures and an analysis for eggs and parasites.” 
        EDITORIAL COMMENT:  The Grump says, “It makes me want to go.” Suggestion:  Before departing on any cruise liner plying out of a US port, log on to the Centers for Disease Control website http://www.cdc.gov/ and read the Green Sheet on vessel inspections.

iowa bridge
        FBI says, “Terrorism has already occurred in Iowa.”: Agent says public aware of mailbox pipe bombings. But, there is much more. “Domestic terrorists are committing damage - animal-rights groups and their cousins, the eco-terrorist groups,” quote FBI agent Kevin Curran. Damage a result of 9-11. Curran predicts more to come; 12-to-15 Iowa law enforcement agencies form joint anti-terrorism task force with FBI.
        One group: North American Animal Liberation Front on the watch list. Iowa a prime hunting ground for eco-terrorist groups: “One of the reasons that we a re targeted is that we are clearly very agricultural. We have a lot of crops. We have a lot of genetically modified crops,” Curran said. “On the animal side, we have a lot of animals. We have a lot of packinghouses. We have turkey farms, egg farms, and we have research labs in Story County.”  (Des Moines Register, 6 June 2000)

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        Know the trouble makers:  Right in the middle of hog heaven, Iowa, that militant animal-rights outfit, PETA, wants people to give up pork and go for the lettuce, tofu, and beans sans pork. Hog raising is a major commodity for Iowans. Apparently PETA thinks sex sells. A 40-foot paint board (expensive) in downtown Des Moines sought to have drivers adopt PETA's “kinder, gentler” approach. The billboard features Playboy Hugh Hefner's ex-wife wrapped in the US flag, pointing, pleading “I WANT YOU TO GO VEGETARIAN.” In hog country, no less.

pita billboard

        The boards went up while the World Pork Expo was meeting at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.  Attendees were people who earn their living raising market hogs. Iowa is populated with factory farms producing pork bellies, packaged bacon and related hog products, egg farms and beef packing plants. If this is a kinder approach for PETA, the Virginia-based outfit left lots of ill feelings where American Gothic is concerned. The outfit once was credited with smacking a pie into the face of a pork queen. In Iowa, pork queens are taken seriously.
        PETA reps have punched pies into the faces of public officials, they've picketed restaurants, they've destroyed expensive furs worn by people who like fur coats in winter, they've vandalized animal labs, and PETA made one everlasting enemy when one of the members threatened a restaurant reviewer who merely reviewed an Italian eatery noted for serving baby veal.
        When PETA picketed Tony's Italian Ristorante in Columbus, Ohio, the owner invited the picket line to “come back every day...just in time to make the 6 o'clock news."

(Excerpts from Des Moines Register, 7 June 2002.)

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