Alpine Summit

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Where's the Beef?

The Mirror, a british paper of unknown leanings and credibility, has published a scathing criticism of America because NATO rations sent to help Katrina victims are going to be burned. Why? Because the beef contained in the rations is from England. (By the way: I really liked how they inserted pictures of black people to imply racism in America... oh THAT bias.)

"The FDA has recalled aid from Britain because it has been condemned as unfit for human consumption, despite the fact that these are Nato approved rations of exactly the same type fed to British soldiers in Iraq.

"Under Nato, American soldiers are also entitled to eat such rations, yet the starving of the American South will see them go up in smoke because of FDA red tape madness."

Now, at first one would want to complain about how this is just more bureaucracy at work. Actually, they are protecting these people. While American soldiers are entitled to eat these rations, I would imagine America's soldiers don't partake for the same reasons the FDA isn't allowing civillians to eat them. It's a clever way for the author to say "American soldiers can eat these, but poor people can't." While it's technically true, in practice it's not true at all.

Sure, these people are hungry, but would you rather they be fed with tainted beef? England has had troubles- many troubles- in the past with their beef standards. What do you think would happen if Bush, or our government in general, were to allow that into the country and people subsequently got sick from it? We would hear calls for heads to role and questions of "how could the government let this happen?" Well, as hungry as those people may be, I would rather let them go hungry for a while than taking the chance that they could contract a disease that would affect the rest of their lives.

Being in college, I look for any way I can to make a little extra money. One way you can do this where I go to school is to donate plasma. You can get paid up to $200 a month for doing this. However, because my dad was stationed in Germany during the 80's and I MIGHT have had tainted beef, I'm unable to donate plasma and must continue working for my money (pfft). Sure, that's just stupid bureaucracy, but that's how it is. A lot of these people are impoverished and that $200 could make a lot of difference in their lives. If we let them eat these rations, though, then that option is closed to them- not to mention the blood donor pool gets that much smaller for companies who are always looking for more blood/plasma.

So, sure it sucks these hungry people are going to see a bonfire of food, but it's better than possibly making their lives even worse than a pang of hunger.