"What Europe did: Banned all forms of animal protein, including chicken litter, in cow feed in 2001."
"What Europe did: In the EU, all antibiotics used in human medicines are banned on farms—and no antibiotics can be used on farms for 'non-medical purposes,' i.e., growth promotion."
I'd like to see the United States follow that lead immediately, and I write this as a man who has several uncles and cousins who are farmers, including some who raise cattle. It makes sense to me to have lines of defense against transmission of animal-infecting, and especially antibiotic-resistant-animal-infecting, microbes to human beings, by controlling what animals raised as lifestock eat and how they are treated with veterinary medicines.
For the other regulatory practices mentioned in the article, especially washing chicken carcasses, I'd like to see more detailed evidence of the safety trade-offs involved in the practices of the United States and of Europe. I'm less sure on some of the other issues that science actually supports the European practice.
The way I see it, farmers should be leading the charge to ban non-medicinal antibiotics use in farm animals. The current situation is causing a tragedy of the commons. The commons in this case is antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Every individual farmer is better off if they use non-medicinal antibiotics than if they don't, but they're all collectively better off (along with the rest of us) if none of them do. In short, the current market is forcing them to act in ways that are bad for humanity. If I were a farmer, I'd seriously dislike that, and lobby for laws that made it possible to do the right thing.
For poultry farms, farmers are essentially sharecroppers. They are paid a fixed fee to grow chickens owned by Tyson/Perdue/etc.
For beef farms, ranchers birth and keep cattle for a specific period of time, at which point they are sold to feedlot operators. The feedlots have thousands of cattle are where many of the nasty issues with disease/etc come from.
Farmers are not very politically powerful anymore. The next layer up in the agribusiness chain can control pricing and have all of the power.
Hell, I agree but there has to be some solution - look at Mr Money Mustache. I know what he says is sensible. But I still have an unaffordable mortgage (my kids need a good school!) and buy lattes each day (I like them)
This is just exactly the same thing.
You know what, I like a Nanny state. I need more Nanny.
Excuse me, my shareholders are calling me.
This American Life had a great TV episode on modern pig farming that I highly recommend watching on this subject. I believe it's this episode titled Pandora's Box:
I suppose I should ask the folks around here (ND) about that line. On second thought, I am pretty sure they would have some words for me.
Saw a Dirty Jobs segment some time ago in which a Nevada pig farmer picks up all the waste from several casinos' buffets, hauls it out to his farm, hand-picks the plastic and other inedible crud out of it, liquefies it, steams it to kill off some of the bacteria, then feeds it to his hogs.
My first thought was that it was pretty clever of him to find a near-zero-cost source of food for his pigs. Then I thought a while longer and realized that those buffets serve a whole lot of pork. Some of which goes uneaten and into the trash... he's turning his pigs into cannibals! And then slaughtering them and selling the meat to the buffets. "Better eat that bacon, boy; three generations of pigs gave their lives for it!"
Cows, on the other hand, are herbivores. Their digestive system cannot properly handle animal protein and this can have disastrous consequences. BSE, aka. mad cow decease is a symptom that is caused by feeding cows with animal protein, in particular from other cows. This decease is not caused by a bacteria or a virus, but a wrong kind of protein that ends up in the brain.
I think this came in the aftermath of the Mad Cow Disease that affected the UK in the mid-'90s (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bovine_spongiform_encephalopat...). I know that UK does not necessarily mean Europe, but nevertheless, that was really huge no matter where in Europe you happened to live, it showed that an entire industry could vanish over night just because of bad industry practices.
Open-access version: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3575082/
The MCD was the reason to ban feeding animal proteins to cows. Before MCD it was common practice to feed ground animal (cow) bones and leftovers from the slaughterhouse to cows.
There was the relatively recent story in Forbes (HN comments at ) about the difference in US/UK treatment of eggs, where the UK standard is to leave them unwashed to protect a natural anti-microbial coating, and the US policy is to wash and artificially disinfect them (at the cost of removing the original coating)
There are some similarities there, and I'm curious about whether the additional cleansing steps are necessary, or part of a process optimisation that allows for more variation in the cleanliness of incoming birds (ie: permitting a faster/messier slaughter or whatever)
The alternative, that it's something like the ammonia used to kill dangerous pathogens in 'recovered meat', is (IMO) more of a concern.
Purely speculation on my part though.
As far as I can tell, the only reason for the US clean-disinfect-keep cold regime is that it ensures consumers get pretty-looking poop-free eggs -- and, as a not inconsequential byproduct, don't accidentally get bird poop and its assorted nasties into their food.
In Europe we can barely stop people from selling horsemeat as beef. I'm not sure how effectively we are implementing any of these rules, and I'm sure a farmer who wishes to do so can flout them at will.
One positive thing to come from the rise of supermarkets and chains is that their own brands suffer when their suppliers fuck up. They alone have the power to police their producers. And we see this in this article with McD's et al pushing for higher standards.
In every industry, the people within the industry think that "they're different" and because they're morally upstanding they don't need to be regulated, but all those other fuckers, well they need to be kept in line. On HN you see this very clearly with attitudes towards the tech sector versus the financial sector (meanwhile my non-tech friends wonder why Facebook and Google are allowed to basically stalk you through the internet).
But, as the GP said, this so far seems to be a singular incident of a single producer trying to make an extra profit, which I don’t really think justifies throwing the entire system overboard.
They think it started in August 2012, and it was detected in January 2013...
There are many practices where the reverse is true, such as the manufacture of certain cheeses from non-pasturized milk being permitted in some parts of the EU, which can lead to a number of diseases.
That's a completely different issue from your standard supermarket meat of which consumer blindly assume that it's safe.
Regulations over the official ingredients of jam, battles over who has the right to make certain types of sausages, the list goes on. It's harder for legal systems other than the common law because of the way they work but I'm of the opinion that we should at least trial putting a word count limit on the total body of law and regulation.
A more depressing tale of regulatory woe, given the rocketing suicides and unemployment in Greece, is that of the bookstore/café that can't sell coffee and frequently can't sell books.
last three paragraphs http://economistmeg.com/2012/02/27/note-from-athens-feeling-...
After all (to pick an example from the news today) - if something is described as "Stornoway Black Pudding" I'd like to believe it actually came from Stornoway:
Or the feta cheese I buy from Germany that can't call itself feta and that anyone in day to day conversation will refer to as feta.
And that anybody that has eaten actual feta will tell you immediately it's a bad imitation (often with the wrong process and/or ingredients).
(Same goes for any "feta" sold in American supermarkets, at least Kroger, Walmart etc that I know of (as in the US the point of origin protection doesn't hold). Also real feta is NEVER sold in crumbles, as you often find it there).
Whereas American may like their food standardised by restaurant chain (I can walk into any X chain and get the same food), in Europe it has traditionally be standardised by region (local cuisine, etc).
So think of it the same as Burger King being unable to name a product "Big Mac". Only instead of protecting/benefiting just some private chain, it protects/benefits a whole country/region where the food was first developed.
Those protections, besides having rules for the "point of origin" also have strict guidelines on the ingredients etc. So you know your feta is X% milk etc, fermented for Y time, etc, and not some random cheap knockout.
Of course, nothing stops a company from selling the same product, or a different mix. They just can't name it feta. They can include a sign like "feta like product" though.
But who is to decide? Imagine if the same thing happened to hamburgers or endless other common things. although understandable the reasoning is already flimsy when it's a region but when it's applied to generic names which have been around for a very long time then who is to decide?
For example, I come from Melbourne in Australia where we have the world's third biggest Greek speaking population after Athens and Thessaloniki. Many came before Greece's entry into the European Communities. Feta means slice, "φέτα", so they can't sell a slice of cheese in the EU, made perfectly in the traditional manner, calling it a slice in their own language as they have always done? They are Greek citizens (as well as Australian), they speak Greek, they've been making that cheese since forever I can't see how you can retrospectively then say people can't call it that. As with the case of the Croatian wine, it's vandalizing history and existing linguistic practice.
In Europe it's easy: the region that created AND named the stuff is to decide.
>Imagine if the same thing happened to hamburgers or endless other common things.
It already happens, just not in a regional level but a corporate one. You cannot call your burger a "Big Mac" or "Baconator".
Also remember that the names we're talking about are not generic as "hamburger", but specific. Feta is a specific product, whereas the analogous to your hamburger example would be if a region has a monopoly on "cheese".
>Feta means slice, "φέτα", so they can't sell a slice of cheese in the EU, made perfectly in the traditional manner, calling it a slice in their own language as they have always done?
Feta is the word for slice, but is also a specific name for a specific cheese -- not to be confused.
(The fact that they are Greek citizens doesn't play any role, the right for Point of Origin protection went to Greece, not Greeks in general. Else any company worldwide could hire some Greeks or some French, and say it makes Feta or Champagne, etc).
>they've been making that cheese since forever I can't see how you can retrospectively then say people can't call it that.
Well, that "forever" is merely a century or less, since most of them weren't longer than that in Australia. Compare this with over two millennia of Feta tradition in Greece.
In any case, it's an EU law to protect the regions that create specific stuff and the consumers. Without it our supermarkets would be full of crap sold as "X", made for cheap in some foreign country with no quality control, and sold as genuine X.
We love our original, and quality/origin protected food a lot to let that happen.
I do think it's a good thing that what used to be called "Danish feta" is now "salatost" ("salad cheese"), because it is simply not feta. But I sympathize with the French, Israeli, and New Zealand feta that's no longer allowed to be called "feta" in the EU, because those countries do produce some genuine feta, in every sense except being produced in the wrong location. On the other hand, I think the same of champagne, and I doubt France would be willing to trade the exclusive right to the word "champagne" in return for getting to call some of their cheese "feta"...
And since the product was also named in the region, it's only fair for them to be able to use it. Now, the French might not get feta but they get Champagne protected, and generally everybody region benefits somehow.
And it's not like patent laws, where you cannot put out a competing product. It's merely like a trademark: you have to name it differently. So, if the french feta is OK, it still has a chance to catch on, just under a different name.
No, if the name is a protected name it can't appear on the label or any advertising. Champagne is from Champagne. There's no such thing as 'wine produced to the champagne method', even though some Cava (etc) are produced to that method.
What if someone followed the traditional methods and ingredients of real feta, made the best feta cheese you ever tasted in your life, BUT it was not made in Greece. Should that be allowed to call itself feta?
I am against monopolies generally, and this geographical indicator stuff around products that have existed for centuries (Champagne, Bordeaux, Bourbon, Parmesan, Chablis, etc) rubs me the wrong way. It's granting a small region a monopoly on a descriptive word that everyone uses to describe the product, with no indication of quality anyways.
What if Diamonds had to come from Russia or else they were not allowed to be called diamonds? Or if sugar had to come from America or else it had to be called something else?
Confusion would reign. Its unfair competition, really.
* Champagne is a sparkling wine made with a specific method from a specific kind of grapes grown on a specific soil in a specific climate. You can reproduce the method elsewhere and use the same grapes, but you can't reproduce the soil or the climate. Hence, the end-result is different. It's a sparkling wine and there are a lot of sparkling wines that are equal or better than a mediocre champagne, but they're still champagne.
* Bordeaux is nothing more than a regional specifier. It encompasses the climate and the soil found there. It neither indicates quality nor taste - though many people associate it with both due to some of the best wines being produced there. What would any consumer win if all of a sudden wine produced in Berlin could be labeled "Bordeaux" - the one person winning here would be the seller. Is that fair?
* Cheese is even harder. Roquefort derives much of its taste and character from the microclimate found in the caves around the town of Roquefort. Something similar is true for Parmesan: Each cheese labeled as parmesan must be made by a specific recipe and is checked by a local authority. So I guess you could make the same product and ship it to Parma and have it certified - but would that be worth it?
Neither of the words is a descriptive word such as "Diamond" or "Sugar". The descriptive words in your cases are "Sparkling Wine", "Red Wine", "Whisky", "Hard Cheese". It's a brand name, like iPhone is Apples particular type of smartphone and Nexus Googles type.
All in all: What would the consumers gain if all of a sudden all blue cheese was roquefort and all hard cheese parmesan, all red wine Bordeaux, all whisky Bourbon and all sparkling wine Champagne? Pretty much nothing.
(*) Sidenote: Wiener Schnitzel must be veal in germany. If it's made from pork it's "Schnitzel Wiener Art". Now, that's stupid.
*"After being fired, the couple successfully sued under Florida’s whistleblower laws. However, Fox won on appeal as courts found FCC regulations against news falsification was a policy, and not a law. Fox then countersued in 2004 for court fees and legal costs."
Meaning it's perfectly fine to knowingly lie. Some tortured rationalization about free speech. I'm sure that's exactly what the founding father's had in mind while writing Second Amendment.
I'd take the free market zealots a lot more seriously if they were spear heading the fight for consumer protections as a precondition to deregulation.
Unless you think free speech and the right to bear arms are the same..
Next up: France will assert control of the terms french bread, french toast, and french fries, but only to eliminate them as inferior food products.
In places where those laws don't apply, they make cheap knockoffs with different ingredients mix, laxer process etc, to sell cheaply. Danish or American feta, for example, is nothing like actual feta. At least Denmark cannot name it "Feta", whereas US companies can, thus misleading the consumer.
Second, even in cases where it's exactly the same, it's a "point of origin" protection, meant to protect the original region that made the product.
The same way that BK cannot name one of their burgers "The Big Mac", but for a whole region/country, not just one private company.
What is the goal that is towering above all else for the EU? The one it has actually been relatively successfully implemented? Creating a common market, of course!
For a common market to exist it is obviously not enough to open up the borders to people, labor, goods and capital. It is also necessary to have common rules and regulations for the goods and services sold throughout the common market. If that weren't the case, individual countries could easily erect trade barriers between them (through rules that are mutually exclusive, e.g. so that a Spanish manufacturer of wine harvesters can't export her Spanish harvesters to France, at least not without massively changing the production process and in essence opening two manufacturing lines, one for Spain, one for France).
So the EU parliament gets this stack of laws on fruits from 27 countries and is told to turn that into one unified law for the whole of the EU. That's basically what's happing. The EU is not so much in the business of making new regulations, it very often just unifies.
Now, it's important to stay vigilant throughout this and pay attention and tell the EU when it screws up, but I do not see any kind of systemic issue. I think it all works pretty well for what it is.
I thought it was an attempt to stop Europe engaging in endless major land wars.
For Europe to not even want to have any war among themselves, for Europe to find the idea of war among themselves to be completely ridiculous and idiotic, it is necessary for Europe to be meaningfully interconnected and interdependent. Treaties have again and again shown to be not up to that task. Bilateral or multilateral treaties of the olden times are mostly political in nature, and anything that is just that can also be reversed through a mere political process.
That interconnection and interdependence has to be created on a deeper and actually meaningful level. The economy is really the obvious choice here, since no political process can even attempt to reverse interdependence of that kind easily.
Plus, it’s sort of obvious. Just as the industrial revolution was hindered by the many tiny kingdoms in what is now Germany (and the huge amount of borders you had to cross and tolls you had to pay if you wanted to ship a product from anywhere in what is now Germany to anywhere else in what is now Germany) – that is, until Germany was unified in 1871 – the many borders in Europe could have hindered Europe globally more had that process towards a common market not existed. It’s the same thing, really, only that I don’t think political integration (beyond creating a common market) has much of a future.
On a basic level this is not about regulation. It is, of course, in some way, but only a roundabout one. Regulation in EU countries already exists. National regulators have been regulating stuff here forever.
EU regulators very often do not wake up in the morning and think "What laws can I add today?”, they mostly think “How can I best unify those complex and already existing laws into one cohesive whole that makes some sense, taking into account the interests of all 27 member nations?”
Now, that’s a hard problem to solve, but it is very often not driven by any sort of desire to create more regulation. In fact, if you are a company operating EU-wide (or just a number of EU countries) the complexity of laws you have to adhere to may even go down with a unified EU law, even though the EU law may be more complex than any single law in any single EU member country.
It’s a messy process and it’s far from optimal, but I think it’s pretty much an EU wide consensus that the goal of the EU is not to abolish regulation in any kind of grande way. So unifying it is.
(It is, of course, also through that through now more and more unified laws the decision process on regulation now moved to the EU level. Where laws are already unified, decisions about future regulation are made on the EU level.)
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/... (EU pop. is .5 billion btw and a rounding error off global #1 in GDP terms)
We'll survive without your business methinks.
What do you mean? There are people in England who think that the EU is going to ban British Sausages being called "sausages", forcing them to be called "emulsified high-fat offal tube".
It was actually a joke from the political satire show "Yes, Minister" from 1984 (watch the clip here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzeDZtx3wUw ). There are a lot of euro-scare stories in England of similar levels of ahem reliability.
The European Commission in the UK has a blog where they try to rebut false stories in the UK media ( http://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/blog/index_en.htm ). (The UK's Health and Safety Executive also has a "things that are mentioned in the UK media which are wrong" section http://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/index.htm )
I don't understand your complaint about civil law, though; why is common law better than civil law? Civil law has the added benefit of being fairly simple and court rulings not making precedence.
(unfortunately accurate satire....)
For example, in Virginia (where I live), ordinary stores can sell beer and wine, but nothing harder. Liquor can only be sold in state-run stores. I suppose the intent is to discourage consumption of hard liquor... and it seems to work on me. The state-run stores are inconvenient enough that I go for softer fare instead of tracking one down.
I knew a couple who bought a gas station and turned half of the convenience store part into a restaurant, while keeping the convenience store part open as well. They had a license to sell alcohol, but not a license to serve alcohol. You could go over to the convenience store half and buy a six-pack of beer, but you couldn't get a beer in the restaurant, and you couldn't bring the beer you had just purchased.
I recently moved into a newly-constructed house. One of my neighbors had to delay their move-in date by a couple of days, because the builder forgot to paint the curb yellow behind the house to indicate that it was a fire lane, and the county wouldn't give them an occupancy permit. This street has plenty of "fire lane" signs, has very little curb at all (it's mostly driveways), and nobody in their right mind would park on it, but it had to be done. The builder rushed the job, and a few months later, basically all of the paint has flaked away and nobody seems to care. Somehow, this was unacceptably unsafe when we were moving in, but it's fine now....
The Greek example sounds worse, but of course a singular example is hard to draw a lesson from. I imagine we'd all benefit everywhere if regulations were treated as a means to an end rather than ironclad law, in any case.
I live in Minnesota, where our liquor laws date back to the era when being a liberal meant you were for women voting and against ANYONE drinking. It was a big deal when we finally got to keep bars open til 2am, a few years back. We can't buy alcohol in stores on sundays, and grocery stores can't sell anything stronger than 3.2 "near beer". You have to go to a real liquor store for even wine and beer, much less hard liquor.
They get a bad rap on the internet because the Republicans (whom they normally vote for) need religious conservatives to make a winning coalition, but they still do good. For example, the only obstacle to the internet sales tax is the House Republican caucus.
To be fair, that's a greek thing and not an EU thing.
Oh, look, a good definition in a legal document. Don’t people normally complain about ambiguous laws leaving interpretation open to the courts?
> Regulations over the official ingredients of jam
So that consumers can buy jam everywhere in the EU and get more-or-less the same rather than (possibly annoying) surprises. The problem here arose because the word ‘jam’ (or more precisely, ‘marmelade’) was used differently in different parts of the EU prior to regularisation. I am happy about it.
> battles over who has the right to make certain types of sausages
Everybody can make any type of sausage, what they cannot do is claim that said sausage was made somewhere else. What exactly do you find unreasonable about that?
> It's harder for legal systems other than the common law because of the way they work but I'm of the opinion that we should at least trial putting a word count limit on the total body of law and regulation.
So you prefer to have such regulation spread not only over a defined body of laws but also over each and every court decision made within the last n hundred years? On the contrary, I would argue that civil law is inherently superior to common law, as it puts the legislation where it belongs (the legislative, i.e. parliament, and, by extension, the various ministries) and gives consumers and businesses security that, if they follow said legislation, they have a reasonable chance of doing everything correctly, rather than having to take into account court decisions on the other side of the country or hope that the court in question will invent new laws according to the way they want, rather than their legal opponents.
There is absolutely no reason to impose a total word count limit on the body of laws. There is a reason to keep that body of law reasonably organised, accurate and easily understandable, which is usually the case, and more so in the EU than the US (otherwise, legal fees would be much higher in the EU, as people would require more help understanding the law, right?).
> A more depressing tale of regulatory woe, given the rocketing suicides and unemployment in Greece, is that of the bookstore/café that can't sell coffee and frequently can't sell books.
Well, that’s what you get for becoming less and less competitive and instead extending bureaucracy more and more to accommodate more and more public officers, paid for by cheap credits, assumed to be backed by more sanely operating economies. Greece’s fault, you could only blame the EU for allowing them in.
 Or are you just annoyed that this is measured in millimetres rather than imperial attolightfortnights or similarly ridiculous unit?
Yes you have a "good definition" in the law there, but what is the law for? It can't have been too important if they repealed it and some people deny its existence.
>Or are you just annoyed that this is measured in millimetres rather than imperial attolightfortnights or similarly ridiculous unit?
The anti-British sentiment in this thread is astounding (I use metric by the way).
The sausage name is shared across regions due to a historical legacy, people who have traditionally enjoyed it should not have language and culture taken from them for the purposes of profits. See my post above on the feta rule being historical and linguistic vandalism.
Ensure a given standard of quality in a consumer product.
> The anti-British sentiment in this thread is astounding
Britain has in the past been perceived as a nation first bullying its way into the EU and then hindering any further integration. That such sentiments crop up in a thread on EU regulation (a pet peeve of Britons, apparently) is not surprising.
> (I use metric by the way).
Yay you! And really, I was just looking for something that could be considered wrong with that sentence you found so amusing.
> The sausage name is shared across regions due to a historical legacy, people who have traditionally enjoyed it should not have language and culture taken from them for the purposes of profits. See my post above on the feta rule being historical and linguistic vandalism.
Firstly, let us clarify that the sausage case has been resolved, with Slovenia having their (Slovenian) word protected, and the German analogue accepted for the sausages in Austria, cf. .
Secondly, I agree that feta is somewhat of a edge case, were I would prefer to see the recipe rather than the place of origin protected, as the latter is not immediately obvious from ‘feta’ (contrary to Champagne, for example). However, even then does the idea of ‘regional trademark’ make some sense to me – but, as I said, this is an edge case and doesn’t really have to do anything with the thickness of bananas or the hygiene requirements of chicken.
AFAIK, that law was actually a protectionist scheme to favor African (ex-colonies) banana producers against South American ones in EU markets.
According to the article this regulation is still in effect.
Correct chemistry but perhaps misleading to non-chemist readers. This is one reason that I oppose product labels advertising "green, organic, natural" products. I cannot help but think that some fickle readers will draw some association between inorganic and poisonous.
Which is exactly the intended reaction. The Organic Industry is big business now.
It must pain HNers in US that if they perceive these items as problems then they have little access to tasty unpasteurized cheeses which would help ease the blows.
I'm from Oz originally, and they unfortunately ban unpasteurized cheese too.
You can get raw milk and cheese all over New Hampshire, including in supermarkets, and apparently many other states for that matter. I never even knew there were restrictions in some states until your comment.
Apparently, even where raw milk/cheese is banned in the U.S., cheese produced from raw milk is legal as long as its been aged for more than 60 days.
Your link is good information... there are many states where it looks quite difficult to get unless you have a local farmers' market
simonsarris kindly helped me out ( myself being in the UK )
Not sure what your point is, it's still delicious. Also brie is not the worst smelling cheese by a very long shot. Maroilles is way worse and used in tarts (a common saying is that after you make a maroilles tart you have to throw out the oven).
And of course they have nothing on (non-cheese) surströmming or hákarl
Brie in general I love. But the only time I've tried brie de meaux from unpasteurised milk it really, really stank and I didn't care for the taste either. And I will eat most ripe and blue cheeses happily.
I've yet to try surstromming after being warned off it by a Swedish friend. Of course he didn't seem to like any Swedish food so may not be the best person to listen to on that count!
If that's what you meant, I can only state that, as far as I'm concerned, you're definitely and unambiguously wrong.
However, despite the interstate commerce ban, some 29ish states have various states of unpasteurized sales, ranging from allowing it in grocery stores to only allowing it to be sold from the farms.
In my state, raw milk products cannot be sold at grocery stores except where allowed by federal law (cheeses past 60 days).
For example, if honeybees fare no better in Europe than the US, then we can eliminate the theory that neonicotinoids are a problem.
2. All western countries have high standards in food processing. The differences are arbitrage not horrors that will kill us all, as this article rather lazily implies.
3. processing food is mostly the problem. Processing meat is almost the whole problem.
Murder is illegal everywhere, but that's not to say it never happens.
Most of what is wrong with our food chain is meat orientated extraction processes pushing low quality cheap reclaims into foods that are overly processed. We know this. It's not a secret nor is it illegal. Nor is it banned in any country.
It's just dumb. The Mr Money Mustache of food would laugh at us.
It was a scamdal. and it IS sorted out. And EU has the regulations in place, as opposed to USA.
You don't think the USA has food regulations?
That's a pretty strong assertion. How did you find out that equivalent hygienic conditions could be created in slaughterhouses at a moderate cost? Aren't antibiotic sprays just getting the germs that got through, despite reasonable precautions being taken?
Simple: Meat is not terribly more expensive in the EU than in the US, people don’t regularly die from food poisoning here and such measurements are prohibited in the EU, hence it must be possible to ensure hygiene with different means at similar, possibly slightly higher, costs.
 At least not more often than the US, I would assume.
Bacteria-related food poisonings due to spoiled meat are pretty rare in germany and since the practice is forbidden here I assume it must be perfectly viable, albeit properly more expensive to create proper conditions.
Yes, but we're not talking about restricting usage, this is about banning them altogether. It would be interesting to know how German producers dealt with the ban. Hopefully it didn't lead to an increased use of other chemical products that aren't banned yet but soon will be etc.
The "asthma and other severe respiratory problems, burns, rashes, irritated eyes, and sinus ulcers and other sinus problems" are occupational hazards associated with the practice, not hazards to consumers of the product.
The author is saying that some committee in the EU has banned the practice, and are unlikely to have done so without weighing costs and benefits.
Regulating for public safety must consider the global view.
Although it's great if rules can make us safer and animals lives better but even though there are some good rules and common sense to get rid of antibiotics, heavy metals and nasty pesticides. But this strikes me as noses turned up especially quoting radical animal rights groups such as the essentially ten year old Humane Society of the United States organization (pretty much ex-PETA extreme extremists took it over) .
There is scientific proof that fluoride is a potent neurotoxin, and yet the government continues to insist and require fluoridation of water.
Again, the (local) government(s) choose(s) to legislate rather than educate.
Shouldn't one be allowed the freedom to choose whether he/she wants fluoridated water or not? Why not install a fluoridation pump per household rather than at the mains?
Offer people a choice.
It doesn't. We have it in water because, really, people need to fluoridate their mouths more often than is practical through teeth-brushing alone.
What you can do is shop locally, start a garden, support local farmers, start hunting and fishing, etc. Is it harder and more expensive? Yup but that seems to be the state of affairs we find ourselves in. On the upside, growing food in a garden is extremely fulfilling.
Their principles, economies, and output across a large range of sectors are much more different than many care to admit.
Found the answer on another section of the site though: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/blog/whole-story/our-meat-no...
The first two would be more difficult to avoid. I think the first one can be avoided by buying organic corn. Avoiding rice fertilized with arsenic manure would be more difficult. You could try buying rice at a farmer's market and asking the seller what he fertilizes with.
FWIW, I've been trying to eat vegan for a few months now and it's surprisingly difficult at first. A surprising number of the weird ingredients in everything are derived from eggs and dairy. I was vegetarian before, and I still had to make some big changes to my diet. I like that it's made me think about what I'm eating, though.
I would prefer they settle the irradiated foods disputes and use that to clean up much that is done with chemicals. I have seem far less its unsafe than safe yet radiation is a boogeyman that is hard to beat.
I live in central Illinois, so it's fairly easy to find local (within 30 miles) producers of most raw foods (meat/veggies/eggs), with the exception of milk. While this may be difficult in some parts of the country, I find getting to know local farmers and buying directly from the ones that do not use these practices (farmer's markets are great for making those connections) is the easiest.
Though, as I said, I live in a farm rich region, so it may be much easier for me than others.
So if I buy from that same farmer you go to, but I'm hundreds of miles away I suddenly get those chemicals but you don't?
It doesn't. It does, however, have everything to do with discovering what that process is. I walk up to a farmer at a local farmer's market and say, "Hey, do you feed your cows chicken shit?... No? Cool, can I buy some steaks from you?"
Obviously there's better ways to present the question, but you get the point. It's far easier to discover the process directly (and IMO more reliable) than to follow the supermarket->distributer->packager->slaughterhouse->farmer chain to find out what the process is.
You mean ask the farmer.
But it's not really all that hard to find this out even for bulk packaged meat if it's branded - just call that single company and ask.
If it's unbranded from your butcher then ask him. (Although admittedly he might not know.)
In all three cases it's just: "Ask".
Anyone know the rules for "organic" foods in terms of pesticides, fertilizers, etc?
Pick up any organic product. It has a sticker "USDA Organic" with white on top and green on bottom. Wikipedia has a great article on "National Organic Program" which is run by the USDA. The NOP website is at:
The blanket reg is CFR 205.105 which references each class of substance separately. Its like the overall flowchart. Then other regs list specific stuff. Like "205.603 Synthetic substances allowed for use in organic livestock production."
So CFR 205.603 says you can use ethanol as a disinfectant only but not in the food, so no white lightning in the food bucket. Aspirin is OK. Vaccines as a blanket order are OK.
(whoops edited to add I think you want CFR 205.601 Synthetic substances allowed for use in organic crop production. Whatever. Nothing is really unexpected in these CFRs and for a guy with a chemistry background I think some rules are a little weird (Ethanol is synthetic and allowed, but Arsenic is non-synthetic and forbidden? Really?) but the writing style should be understandable by the general public)
These were banned in the UK in 1999. The EU has just brought in a law banning them, but a lot of countries are still not fully compliant.
4. Chlorine washes for poultry carcasses
the EU is currently looking at implementing something similar using substances such as ozone in solution or steam.
I never said it was. Just in general Europe is driven more by what is good for the people, not what is good necessarily for big business.
How else do you explain the gun laws of USA despite the numerous atrocities committed by people with easy access to huge quantities of ammunition and semi-automatic weapons? Can you say that the NRA has nothing to do with the gun laws in the USA?
How do you explain the inclusion of so many European banned substances in common food production in the USA? The alternatives are generally more expensive and less convenient, yet they are banned in Europe, not USA.
And the point of the banned substances is that they're less expensive and more convenient. That's why they're used. Whether they're harmful or not is up for debate, but I don't think businesses use them because they don't work...
Of course it is. Other things like free speech etc that are also in the constitution are being run over because it suits the government and Hollywood, yet the right to bear arms has barely been touched, in fact probably expanded. I notice that no-one addressed my point about the NRA influencing gun laws. Also, where is it written in the constitution that ammunition should be available in Supermarkets?
As to your point about being harmful is up for debate:
Antibiotics in the food chain is a major cause of current immunity issues with disease causing agents.
Yet the practice has not stopped in the USA despite the evidence. There are so many other examples, I really don't understand why some people here don't get it - the USA legal and political system is probably more influenced by big business than any other Western democracy. If not the worst, then close to it.
It took billions of years for the nature to create the foods that are perfect for us, we cannot create something better (in a few hundred years).
I wish that someday the entire Human race on Earth will be as enlightened as the people in Star Trek.
Bullshit. We created those foods. Our staple crops and domestic animals have all been genetically engineered via selective breeding and trial and error for millennia.
Food processing - making bread, cheese, salted meats, canned foods etc. from raw materials - allowed us to move out of the hunter gatherer existence into a society that sends robots to other planets.
I said: "..we cannot create something better (in a few hundred years)."
You said: "We created those foods". [..] all been genetically engineered [..]
Where is the proof that these processed or genetically engineered foods are better? To clarify things, we DID NOT create those foods, we modified them. Creating is food is clearly something entirely different. We've not advanced that far in Bio-sciences.
Because statements like "took billions of years for the nature to create the foods that are perfect for us" are false and absurd. Nature didn't create foods to be perfect for us. The goal of natural selection was for those organisms to survive, not necessarily to be tasty to humans, and most of the foods we eat were modified by us to our liking.
It's the same sort of argument anti-vaccine nuts use. "We were fine before vaccines!" No, we weren't. Millions upon millions died of easily preventable, natural diseases.
> Where is the proof that these processed or genetically engineered foods are better?
Try surviving off wild bananas or the wild grasses we bred into wheat and rice. They're harder to digest, yield less, etc.
> To clarify things, we DID NOT create those foods, we modified them.
And? We're doing that with GMO foods, too. Humanity hasn't yet created even a single-celled bacterium from scratch, let alone a corn plant.
Nature has no such intention - in fact, in most cases, evolution favours inedibility. Even simple processing methods like leaching out toxins with water probably made our food much better.
Fruit has evolved to be edible, but it's hardly perfect for us - it's more like a sugary treat. Milk might be the only thing we consume which has evolved as a nutrient source for creatures like us.
Technically it's not that nature created those foods for us to be perfect. It's more like that the available food has shaped human evolution. Those individuals who could make best use of those foods, also had the best chance of passing their genes onto following generations.
This evolution continues today, probably even at a faster pace, especially since we are processing foods to the limit.