In the twisted world of food safety and the federal government’s seemingly-random concern for public health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has proposed a rule requiring mechanically tenderized meat be labeled as such and even include specific cooking instructions. Yes, the USDA is concerned that having your meat beaten by a machine could be hazardous to your health, but when it comes to GMO-labeling they seem to care very little. All while Europe and other nations around the world reject Monsanto’s GMOs due to health and environmental hazards.
According to SuperMarketNews.com, the danger in mechanically tenderized meat (beef in particular) is that the machines can transfer pathogens from the outside of the meat into the inside. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reportedly identified five outbreaks stemming from this practice since 2003.
“Ensuring that consumers have effective tools and information is important in helping them protect their families from foodborne illness,” said Under Secretary Elisabeth Hagan. In other words, yes the federal government and its regulatory agencies is concerned about your family’s health—well, as long as the concern doesn’t hurt Big Ag and corporate giants like Monsanto.
All of this is very interesting considering the research that has shown genetically modified foods to trigger deadly tumors in lab rats, organ failure, and more.
The Consumers Union—a group who has also been deeply entrenched in getting the government to label GM foods—marks the tenderized-labeling rule as a victory. But, the real victory would come if the USDA took the same level of concern and applied it unilaterally to all foods.
“We have been calling for a label for mechanically tenderized meat for years because consumers deserve to know what they’re putting in their carts and on their tables,” said Ami Gadhia of the Consumers Union. It’s this line of logic that can also be applied to GMO labeling.
Still, the USDA believes GM foods are categorically no different than non-GMO foods. As a matter of fact, they really see GMOs as a good thing, with the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stopping just short of calling them a divine gift: “With the seed genetics that we’re seeing, miracles are occurring every single growing season.”
But the USDA, in their meat-tenderizing, willful ignorance, can’t shoulder all of the blame. Just last week, lawmakers in D.C. (lawmakers that we put in office) voted down an amendment to the Farm Bill that would have at least allowed states to determine GM foods needed to be labeled. Even that, the government has said, is requiring too much of food-makers and evil companies like Monsanto.
Despite public outcry for the labeling of GMO foods, as portrayed in the recent March Against Monsanto, it seems that GMO labeling is a bit over arm’s reach. Maybe citizens will have to continue labeling GMOs themselves until GMO labeling comes to fruition.