Canned Food Recall after Botulism Cases | PhysOrg…….

Yet another glowing example of what happens when the public safety is sacrificed in favor of the Bush Administration’s anti-regulatory ideology.

Four people have been hospitalized due to botulism poisoning. The last documented case of botulism caused by a commercially canned product occurred in the 1970’s.

Botulism poisoning from commercially canned foods has been virtually eliminated in the United States, making the new cases linked to hot dog chili sauce all the more striking.

Makes you think, doesn’t it?

read more | digg story

Plastic Bag Revolt | CS Monitor…….

This is an idea which is long overdue:  Ban the Bag.

500 billion: Number of plastic bags consumed worldwide every year (1 million per minute) | 500: Years it takes a plastic bag to decay in a landfill | Billions end up back in the environment, fluttering from trees and hedges in China, scudding along the ocean floor and suffocating an estimated 100,000 birds, whales, seals, and turtles each year.

read more | digg story

Some Suspect Chemical Mix in Pet Food | The New York Times…….

This is what happens when the people elect an administration which is hostile to government.  No government oversight of business activities and no regard for public safety.

The market, in many cases, is an excellent self-regulating mechanism.  Unfortunately for the consumer, in the case of greed, the market always falls short. 

In the world of business, greed rewards short-cuts and gambling with the public safety.  Greed trumps respect for live.

In fact, the roots of the modern FDA can be traced to an alarming case of corporate carelessness, know as the tragic Elixir Sulfanilamide Incident. 

In 1937, 100 people died after taking elixir of sulfanilamide manufactured by  S.E. Massengill Co., located in Bristol, Tennessee. 

The group had been poisoned with diethylene glycol, after the company’s head chemist and pharmacist, Harold Cole Watkins, discovered that diethylene glycol made a satisfactory dilutent for the elixir– in a rush to fill a deluge of orders for the product.

Sadly, the only thing shocking about the New York Times piece is the predictability of such an event occurring under the nose of indifferent government regulators.

This is the property of the Xuzhou Anying Biologic Technology Development Company, a small agricultural products business that investigators have identified as the source of contaminated wheat gluten that was shipped to a major pet food supplier in the United States.

Some American regulators suspect there was deliberate mixing of substances. They are looking into the possibility that melamine, the chemical linked to the pets’ deaths, was mixed into the wheat gluten in China as a way to bolster the protein content, according to a person who was briefed on the investigation.

To read the New York Times piece, click here.

To learn more about The 1937 Elixir Sulfanilamide Incident, click here.

Pet Food Is Recalled After Link to Animal Deaths | The New York Times…….

In a matter which is off topic from our usual blog fare, as a public service we urge you to take the time to check the brand and lot numbers of the food your cat and dog are eating.  This simple action could save their life.

Ten animals have died from kidney failure after consuming this tainted food.   This  New York Times article has the brands which are affected:

More than 60 million cans and pouches of dog and cat food sold under dozens of brand names were recalled on Saturday after being linked to the deaths of 10 animals.

The food was manufactured by Menu Foods, of Streetsville, Ontario, which makes wet food sold as store brands for companies like Wal-Mart, Kroger and Safeway.

The company also makes food on behalf of many brand-name pet food makers. Menu Foods said it had recalled some food made for the Iams unit of Procter & Gamble. Two other pet food companies — Nestlé Purina PetCare and Hills Pet Nutrition, the unit of Colgate-Palmolive that makes the Science Diet brand — recalled some of their products that were made by Menu Foods.

For a complete list of the recalled products visit  the sucky Menu Foods recall website or call (866) 895-2708

I, Aggregate…….

food

There are two businesses that I miss from the dot com days, Kozmo and Home Grocer. Both specialized in home delivery of goods.

Kozmo served the uber-geek niche with speedy home delievery of the nerdy essentials like snacks, solid and liquid, plus movies, music and the critical toiletries. Home Grocer was the supermarket of the future straight out of the propaganda spewed in the 1950’s.

Here is how it worked. You had a standing order for delivery which could be modified anytime from the website. Deliveries were on time and free if you ordered 50 dollars worth of goods. The eager Home Grocer delivery person arrived in a crisp uniform reminiscent of the service stations attire of the golden age of driving. The uniform matched the truck, the bags and the boxes. This wasn’t some subcontractor with your groceries rolling around in the trunk of a 1985 Toyota mixing it up with the greasy spare tire and jumper cables.

The Home Grocer employee carried your order into the kitchen taking care not to make a mess. If there was a problem a friendly customer service representative would call you before the order was filled to work out a solution. This extra care was free of charge. Oh, the produce was excellent. It was one notch below farmer’s market fresh. After all it had avoided sitting on a table at the supermarket getting picked up and poke by numerous hands while waiting to be taken home. Most importantly, you were treated like a god.

Alas, the dream is gone. Instead, we have value and reward cards. A plastic card symbolic of the arrogance of the grocery business.

Mr. Grocer, I know the information you have been gathering about me with your ubiquitous UBC codes has made you extremely powerful. Frankly, this power has gone to your head. Your card is no value to me. In fact, I was more than a little insulted when you tried to force me to sign up. Did you think I would not notice when you jacked up the prices and then required the rewards card to bring them back down to the original level?

Seriously, did you also think I harbored some secret desire to scan my own groceries? Shame on you.

Honey, you have changed. If my personal information is fueling the service economy then I expect to be service when I give it away to you. I want to be treated like a geek diva with time to burn at the Googleplex. That’s right, a free hair cut, manicure, pedicure plus a personal assistant to run up and down the isles gathering my groceries. I will also require a second assistant to take care of my kids. If one child wants to color while singing the songs from Chicken Little then damn it, it shall be done. Oh, if the baby decides to make that face, you will be there to make everything all right. You get the picture.

Here is track seven for the playlist: Fairytale in the Supermarket by The Raincoats