I was skimming an editorial on food origin labeling issues from the New York Times this morning. Something in the text struck me. Actually it beat me severely about the head. The text said that the reason we consumers do not get access to clear labeling on the origin of our food is in a large part due to the efforts of lobbists on behalf of meat importers and grocery retailers.
Based on all the recent discoveries with Chinese food imports (and toys and drug ingredients and tires ...) I WANT to know where my food came from. I mean, I can turn over my clock radio and know where it was made, it would seem even more important to know where something came from that I am going to EAT.
The article goes on to mention the following:
"As Andrew Martin reported in The Times on Monday, the Bush administration’s Agriculture Department was hostile to the labeling from the start. That comes as no surprise given that many of its top officials had worked for a trade association representing meatpackers and ranchers that opposes labeling. The Republican-controlled Congress, with key members beholden to campaign contributions from agribusiness, twice delayed the starting date for mandatory labeling, ultimately pushing it back to September 2008."
Hmmm. This reeks worse than rotten meat. How did we get to a place in our country where lobbyists have more control over our government than we do? Where the lobbyists ARE in control of our government. It makes me feel powerless. And angry.
So, I did a little search. You CAN find out which representative is getting how much and from whom at this site. You can look here to see who's giving what to your representatives. Be sure to include that information when you write them about the labeling, and about any other issue. Otherwise, they are just counting on you not paying attention while lobbyists are paying for favors.