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March 1, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Shutdown of meat industry unhealthy

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It was no surprise that the recent column about the proposed furlough of the USDA meat inspectors being a good idea was written by the director of nutrition education at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization. Who else would think a government-imposed shutdown of a multibillion-dollar industry affecting multiple states, employees and customers would be a good idea for our health and our economy?

The author includes facts about food-borne illnesses related to meat contamination but makes no mention of the food-borne illnesses carried by fruits and vegetables. Those inspections will also be curtailed by the proposed furloughs. At least meat can be cooked to kill bacteria, but most greens and cantaloupe are eaten raw, and the bacteria cannot be rinsed away.

The author also states that in just two weeks without meat in the American diet, the benefits will be so noticeable everyone will have more energy, lose weight and not need emergency rooms! In addition, by the author’s logic, Americans will have lower blood pressure, less heart disease and Type 2 diabetes and a boon in productivity will offset the hit taken by the meat industry and other affected businesses. Wow, a major economic hit to a web of industries and recovery in two weeks! Of course, the author only has our well-being in mind.

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  1. Tami -

    If you weren't surprised, why should the rest of us be? The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine is a fringe group of super vegans with few actual Physicians on board. Why give them notoriety through a LTTE?

  2. Nobody is talking about shutting down the meat industry. For an in depth analysis of the fallout from the impending sequester go to the Huffington Post and click on the article "White House releases reports detailing sequester impacts by state". Click on the state you're interested in, and get the facts.

  3. Future: Once again you leave out the inconvenient truth that without Congress passing the Budget Control Act (Obama is not in the name), Obama would have had nothing to sign. It's the way bills become law in this country. Whose "idea" it was is irrelevant. Ideas are not laws, they are ideas. Boehner was quite pleased with the results: "I got 98% of what I wanted". He voted for the Budget Control Act as did the majority of GOP baggers in the HR. The Senate passed it with 28 baggers on board. Deal with it.

  4. Many years ago when I went to Washington DC I learned the "DC Monument Syndrome." Whenever there was a budget cut, or the Feds closed down, the first to be shuttered were the monuments. It's a big joke. Washington DC can close down in its entirety and the rest of the country would never miss it. And we'd save money to boot.


  5. BTW, do the math. When Sequestration became law in August 2011, the President and Senate [both Democratic] were in favor. So 2/3 of government, the majority party, were in favor and passed. The House, 1/3 of government, was Republican, the minority party. The Republicans compromised and went along with the majority. Now, the majority is disgruntled that the Republicans went along. Can't have it both ways. Bad policy makes bad law, but law nevertheless. Let er rip.


  6. The kooks at PCFRM show us just how bad "progressives" and leftists are for our health. Our economic health, financial health, "freedom" health. You name it: speech, thought, association, action. If they can control it or tax it - they will - and to our detriment. The American left is to individual freedom what the the Anti-Christ is to religion.

  7. By ressince73 - "Future: Once again you leave out the inconvenient truth that without Congress passing the Budget Control Act (Obama is not in the name)."

    Mr. Lind some of these people can't help themselves, the universe didn't exist prior to President Obama. Anything that has a negative impact, real or not is because Obama was born. Forget the fact that Speaker of the House John Boehner said he got 90% of what he wanted in the deal or that 178 Republicans voted for the bill. That reality is non-existent to those who close out the real world and live in their communications bubble. For example a few Republican senators were spewing nonsense manufactured by Breitbart bloggers, treating those articles as if it were real news.

    Ms. Higgins your letter is food for thought and not to be ignored, thanks.

  8. The meat industry wont shut down.

    The pending cuts are less than 2% of the budget. If that amount shuts down the government, the other 98% of the budget is waste.

    And the squester is Obama's idea. Read Robert Woodward.

  9. As Dr. Krugman should know if he understands government budgeting, and if he doesn't, this is it: Most Federal Agencies affected by Sequestration will have to redo their budgets for the rest of the fiscal year through September 30, and submit to OMB [Office of Management and Budget] for the record and approval. This will take about two months so the impact won't be felt until late April and early May. The budget categories that will be affected [read reduced] are business travel, professional training, conferences and off-site meetings, possibly supplies, and not filling vacant positions resulting from attrition. Operations and readiness should not be touched, at least for program agencies and departments. Not for the $85 Billion between now and the end of the fiscal year.