Food Safety

Oprah Not "The Only Mad Cow In America," Thanks to Texas Governor Perry

A popular Texas bumper sticker reads: "The only mad cow in America is Oprah." Not anymore, after the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently announced that the first confirmed home-grown case of mad cow is a Texas beef cow.

As Sheldon Rampton and I report in Mad Cow USA, the United States failed to take the measures necessary to stop the spread of the fatal dementia dubbed mad cow disease. However, a successful PR campaign by industry and government has, to this day, fooled most of the press and the public into believing that all necessary steps were taken long ago. A major part of the effort to spin and intimidate media coverage involved suing Oprah Winfrey under the Texas Food Disparagement Act, after her 1996 program examining mad cow risks in America.

The Junk Food Lobby Wins Again

Last week, Connecticut Governor Jodi Rell vetoed "what would have been the nation's strongest school-based nutrition law," writes Michele Simon. "With one stroke of the pen, she put to rest an extremely contentious three-year battle to rid Connecticut schools of soda and junk food. Similar scenarios are being played out in state capitals all over the nation, where high-paid lobbyists of multi-national corporations such as Coca-Cola are swooping in to foil the efforts of local nutrition advocates, educators.


You Don't Know Where that Meat Has Been

"The Meat Promotion Coalition has been formed in the office of Washington's top agriculture (public affairs) / lobby firm, Lesher & Russell," reports O'Dwyer's. Coalition members include Tyson Foods, Hormel Foods, Cargill, the National Catttlemen's Beef Association, National Pork Producers, American Meat Institute, National Meat Association, and American Farm Bureau Federation.


Beans Means Cash

British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has admitted accepting £15,000 ($US28,000) from Heinz as part of a product placement deal in which he agreed to include an up-market version of baked beans on toast on the menu at his restaurant. "I should have been brighter," Oliver told The Independent. The success of Oliver’s television cooking program, The Naked Chef, has led to three books and a follow up television series.



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