Making Children Sick
While George W. wails about Saddam Hussein's supposed ties to terrorist cells, he's refusing to lift a finger to deal with cells here at home that not only are causing terror for American families, but are killing 14 innocent, unsuspecting Americans every day and hospitalizing nearly 900 more.
These cells bear names like Listeria, E. coli, and Salmonella -- they are food-borne bacteria that have become epidemic because of the unclean practices of such industrialized meat companies as ConAgra, Pilgrim's Pride, and Tyson. In their corporate slaughterhouses, processing lines are speeded up for quick profits and, as a result, the ground beef, poultry, hot dogs, and such get contaminated with animal manure. Deadly bacteria in this manure festers, then is swallowed by consumers ... and kills 5,000 of us each year, with children being especially vulnerable.
The death is horrible. One father tells of his two-year old "screaming nonstop for three days, and there was nothing I could do."
There is, however, something Bush could do. He could listen to the thousands of families whose children and other loved ones have died from industry's tainted meat. These families have formed a grassroots group called STOP -- Safe Tables Our Priority. They know that these deaths are totally preventable -- if the meat giants are simply made to clean up their act. So STOP is pushing for tough rules against fecal contamination in meat plants, calling for vigorous inspections, strong penalties, and authority to shut down persistent violators.
But Bush is siding with the meat-packing corporations. He has set aside a Bill Clinton regulation for better Listeria inspections, and, instead of closing factories that fail Salmonella inspections, Bush simply sends them a letter of reprimand ... or actually stops the testing in those factories!
As STOP said in a letter to George, "Our children and our families deserve not to encounter terror at the dinner table." To help stop Bush's corporate weaseling, call STOP: 800-350-STOP.
"Parents of Sickened Children Ask for Tighter Food Rules", New York Times, 10/17/02. "In Wake of 20 Deaths from Listeria Outbreaks, Consumer Group Calls on Bush to Implement New Tests for Meats", Corporate Crime Reporter, p. 5, 10/21/02.