Government to Bail Out Tainted Tomato Industry?

The Wall Street Journal reports that Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL) plans to introduce legislation to give tomato growers and shippers $100 million in compensation for their losses due to the recent salmonella outbreak.

The WSJ states that the FDA has listed its ban on the tainted vegetable, while the CDC says that there still may be more cases not yet reported which resulted from tomatoes. More than 1200 people were sickened in this latest produce disaster.

Congress has scheduled several hearings next week concerning the salmonella outbreak and why thee was such a lengthy delay in determining the cause.

The sought-after amount is based on an estimate from Florida growers and includes crops abandoned in the field, products thrown out by retailers and tomatoes forced to be sold as low as $5 a box, compared with as much as $20 in a normal market, said Reggie Brown, executive vice president of the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange, a cooperative of tomato farmers. The Agriculture Department hasn’t released a firm estimate of the cost to farmers or distributors.

Call me crazy, but shouldn’t we try to figure out exactly what happened first, before we opt to shovel $100 million dollars to any industry? Especially one which may be at fault?

Consumer advocates oppose the bill. Sarah Klein, a staff attorney at the Center for Science in the Public Interest, said the food-industry lobby over the years has weakened federal food-safety oversight, and consumers shouldn’t foot the bill now. “We’d like to see the industry focusing on how to prevent these outbreaks for the future to protect consumers and their bottom line,” she said.

Gee, you don’t say?
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CBS Covers for McCain – Again

Two days ago, CBS altered an interview with John McCain where he made another major policy gaffe, this time in the timeline of the Iraq war. They didn’t just edit McCain’s response to the question, they completely changed his response (using the answer from a different question).

As MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann reported, “CBS curiously, to say the least, left it on the edit room floor. It aired Katie Couric’s question, but in response, it inserted part of McCain’s answer to another question instead.”

What CBS did was to change McCain’s response from one which showed his lack of understanding of his signature subject of Foreign Policy and turned it into an attack on Obama saying Barack Obama “cares more about winning the election than winning a war.” Watch the side-by-side below

Now, CBS has done it again. This time, they scrubbed McCain saying “The fact is we had four years of failed policy. We were losing. We were losing the war in Iraq. The consequences of failure and defeat of the United States of America in the first major conflict since 9/11 would have had devastating impacts throughout the region and the world.”

Apparently, the Senator forgot about Afghanistan.

In case you need a refresher, here is the timeline:

  • September 11, 2001, attack on the twin towers
  • October 7, 2001, US begins war with Afghanistan
  • March 19, 2003, US begins war with Iraq
  • May 1, 2003, Bush announces Mission Accomplished

If you want an extended timeline, from 2003 to present, click here.

Should you be as outraged as I am, feel free to express yourself to the CBS ombudsman at publiceye@cbs.com (more contact information below).

It’s time we take back our media. Keep reading to find out how.
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In The Meantime

As many of my faithful readers know, this blog tends to delve deeply into the more timeless issues which remain on our minds and in our consciousness longer than the usual stories of the day. I post these often lengthy entries as I can, based upon my travel schedule.

Of course, we all value the daily news for politics, society and life in general. Many of you, like me, are avid news junkies and followers of the human experience. If you happen to be missing my words, come on over to TheZoo where we focus on important topical issues that take place every hour of every day. We also have some fun, so stop by often, if just to say Hi. Comments are always welcome.

Fear not, though. My in-depth studies will continue here, as well.