Digest – News: Complaints about Clinton campaigner in Iowa

The other white heat: Small-farm advocates and small farmers are questioning Hillary Clinton's choice of Joy Philippi, past president of the National Pork Producers Council, to run her rural campaign. Philippi has hedged on whether she supports local control over CAFOs (Clinton's sop to rural Iowans, compare it with John Edwards' stance), opposes country-of-origin labeling, and says the current farm bill will make the pork industry less competitive globally. Money quote: “Senator Clinton is an advocate for family farms and I am a family farmer," said Philippi, who owns a fourth-generation Nebraska family farm with 2,000 hogs. Our take: If you walk like a factory farmer, talk like a factory farmer, and oink like a factory farmer, you can call yourself whatever you want — you're costing Clinton votes. (The Des Moines Register)

Breakfast of champions: India, the world's second-biggest wheat grower, may harvest more of the crop than ever, which will ease pressure on the Indian government to import the grain at record prices. (Bloomberg)

Mad about mad cows from the north: The USDA is being sued by a group of cattle producers and consumer organizations over its decision to allow Canadian cattle over 30 months of age to be imported by the U.S., saying the cow in latest Canadian case of BSE would have been eligible for export to the United States. While their concern for consumers is admirable, the U.S. tests even fewer of its cattle for mad-cow disease than our neighbor does. (Western Farm Press)

starQuick — check the cattle fences: 14,800 pounds of ground beef thought to be contaminated with E. coli bacteria has been stolen in Texas. The USDA has issued a health alert for ground beef products packaged for consumer use carrying the establishment number “EST. 13116” on the package labels. (Brownfield Network)

Smithfield behaves in Iowa: Backed by the UFCW, nearly a thousand workers signed a new, worker-friendly contract with Smithfield Foods in Sioux City, Iowa. said the Local's president: "What's puzzling about Smithfield is how it engages responsibly in the bargaining process with workers here in Sioux City, but at its Tar Heel, North Carolina, plant the company is anything but responsible in the way it treats workers. It's really a Jekyll and Hyde situation with Smithfield, and it makes people working for them very concerned." Wonder whether the demographics of those two populations differ at all, and how that affects treatment. (Fox Business)

Pro coliform-a: Carol Ness at the San Francisco Chronicle explains the lawsuit filed by California raw milk dairies on behalf of their estimated 40,000 dedicated raw milk consumers to block enforcement of a sneaky new law, AB1735, which takes effect Jan. 1 and limits coliform bacteria in bottled raw milk to just 10 per milliliter, the same standard that pasteurized milk must meet. Meanwhile, David Gumpert at The Complete Patient goes deeper, listing the key constitutional-law provisions of the suit.

Hellooo, we are what they eat: Ranchers struggling with high hay costs and burned-out pastures are being warned that feeding cattle cheap pet food could cause an outbreak of mad cow disease. (BillingsGazette.com)

2 Responsesto “Digest – News: Complaints about Clinton campaigner in Iowa”

  1. cookie jill says:

    Nice of you to highlight the mooched meat story. Seems to be missing from the Mainstream Media Newscasts.

    Merry Happy New Year.

  2. I think the difference between the reception of unions in Iowa and North Carolina is related to the regional attitudes about unions. Unions are less welcome in the South than the Midwest (that's one reason that new auto assembly plants are built down South). That might be partly the working populations' opinion, but in order for unions to be formed, there must be a level of government and corporate buy in, like allowing fair elections, not intimidating organizers, and so forth.

    On the subject of unions in the U.S., here's Paul Krugman on http://www.democracynow.org/2007/10/17/the_conscience_of_a_liberal_newDemocracy Now:

    We think of the decline of the union movement, which has all kinds of consequences, as being something—well, you know, the world economy changed and unions just didn’t have a place anymore. But that’s actually not true. Every place else in the advanced world, unions are still a powerful force. In the 1960s, Canada and the United States had the same rate of unionization. Canada still has about the same rate of unionization that it had in the 1960s. In the United States, the movement has been—you know, is a shadow of its former self, and that’s because of union busting, which was made possible by a permissive political environment, Ronal Reagan firing the air traffic controllers. The National Labor Relations Board turning hostile toward union organizers creates the possibility for massive union busting, and that, not the global economy, is why we are what we are.