environmental, Health, News

FDA to Give up on Regulating Antibiotic Abuse on Factory Farms

I’ve been wary of the FDA for quite sometime, ever since they bypassed their deadline for determining what exactly is and isn’t gluten-free.  This new nugget of information, however, really makes me wary of them. According toMother Jones, the FDA has decided to give up on regulating antibiotic abuse on factory farms–at least for the time being, they claim.

How does this affect you? If you’re a meat eater, this means that non-government related farms (agribusiness) can plump their cows full of antibiotics, which in turn generate antibiotic resistant pathogens in you, and thus, endanger your life. Isn’t that just a lovely holiday gift? It just goes to show that big business really doesn’t care about the people, they only care about their product. Eighty percent of antibiotics aren’t consumed by humans, they’re consumed by animals. Worst of all, they’ve thrown in the towel after fighting this fight since the Carter administration over thirty years ago. Why stop now? Have the big bad agribusiness men really scared you, FDA? With all these facts and figures, why would you say, “okay, you can pump the animals full of drugs, even though we know that this hurts people. We’re tired. We’re so over this.” It’s BS, and I’m really angry. Of course they have a fake apology, claiming that the action “should not be interpreted as a sign that the FDA no longer has safety concerns or that the FDA will not consider re-proposing withdrawal proceedings in the future, if necessary.”

Really, FDA? You had three years to regulate what really is and isn’t gluten-free, and nothing has been accomplished. You allow countless diet pills come into the market that severely harm and kill people. Many birth control manufacturers are facing a lot of heat for their ingredients that you allowed. You allow HFCS to still be on the market, and even allowed agribusiness to produce those BS “your body can’t tell if it’s corn sugar or cane sugar!” commericals AND be put into “natural products” (yep, HFCS shows up in Vicks NatureFusion cold medicines, even though they go on about how wonderful it is that there’s no dyes and gluten and such, they still have something that was invented in a laboratory in 1957 in their “natural” medicine.)  Why should we trust them?

What do you think, LivLunatics? Do you think the FDA will pick up on the anger of the population, or will it be business as usual? Does this make you not want to eat meat anymore?

Update 01/05/12: There’s been a little bit of success! According to Mother Jones, the FDA has banned certain uses of the cephlasporin family of antibiotics. The agency has released a statement in regard to this decision: “Cephalosporins are commonly used in humans to treat pneumonia as well as to treat skin and soft tissue infections. In addition, they are used in the treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease, diabetic foot infections, and urinary tract infections. If cephalosporins are not effective in treating these diseases, doctors may have to use drugs that are not as effective or that have greater side effects.” This is a minor step, but still a step nonetheless. Let’s hope the FDA gets more aggressive with the banning of antibiotics in animal farms!

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Celebrity, News

The Kardashians and Sweatshop Labor–Are they REALLY that Ignorant?

Update 12/23/11: Kris Jenner is now suing Star for libel. The Kardashian matriarch is also planning on suing the The Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights. This is getting pretty heated…

Update 12/21/11: Charles Kernhagen now claims that Star magazine (where Radar got their information from) has taken his quotes out of context and that he was talking about 75% of the factories in the Guangdong province, not necessarily the factory where the various Kardashian fashion lines are created. Additionally, Kris Jenner and her business partner, Robert Shapiro, released a statement to TMZ saying that the factory where the clothes are made are “strictly policed,” and do not violate any child labor or human rights laws. Whether or not there is truth to either story, I feel this discussion is still important, especially in the wake of the  allegations of child labor being used to obtain organic cotton for a line of Victoria’s Secret underwear. If something bears your name, wouldn’t you want to research your manufacturing methods before making a business agreement? 

–Kathleen

Radar Online has broken the news that the Kardashian fashion empire is guilty of using slave labor to produce their merchandise. According to the website, the fashionable family is being investigated by a human rights organization due to their use of sweatshop workers in the Guangdong province of China. The workers are believed to work up to eighty-four hours in a seven day workweek to produce the Sears-exclusive line (as well as other Kardashian endorsed lines such as the Kris Jenner Collection and ShoeDazzle.com) that helped the family earn a cool $65 million last year. The workers make roughly $1 per hour, are not allowed to listen to music, or even stretch in the often 100 degree plus temperatures. According to Charles Kernaghan, executive director of the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights,  “The Kardashians are in bed with some pretty bad people. Not only are [they] taking advantage of these workers, they are holding hands with a government that spits on democracy and women’s rights.”

My question is, are the Kardashians and other celebrity designers really that unaware and that heartless that they would use such awful methods to create their clothing? Are they so desperate for a profit that they would resort to exploiting people who believe that they need to work in such awful conditions to provide for themselves and their families? I really don’t get it, especially after the Kathie Lee Gifford scandal in the mid-nineties. Gifford, who sold her clothes exclusively at Wal*Mart, claimed that she was unaware of how the clothes bearing her name were produced, that she was not involved in that aspect of the business. This angered people–if you’re going to put a product with your name on it, wouldn’t you want to make sure that the people involved are taking the steps to make sure that other people aren’t being endangered just so YOU can make more money on top of your TV hosting gig? Or, in the case of the Kardashians, your reality shows/nail polish collection/perfume/personal appearances/books/magazine stories/etc.? There are young women and girls who do look up to the family, who see them as entrepreneurs and fashion icons. So, are they really greedy or just ignorant? Remember, this isn’t the first time the Kardashians have put their name on an inferior, poorly researched product–last year, the Kardashian Kard was released. Unbeknownst to the family, the pre-paid card was riddled with hidden fees and finance charges, causing consumers to be angry and the card to be pulled from rotation.

LivLunatics, again–are the Kardashians (and other celebrities, as Mel “Scary Spice” B. and Carmen Electra have also been named in the investigation) greedy or ignorant? What do you think is a good way to eliminate or improve labor conditions?

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