The US food safety attorney Bill Marler makes an important point that needs to be emphasised in Britain even more than it does in the USA.
Local does not mean safer.
The vast PR machines of both the crooks and the cranks like to cloud food safety issues. It's better than admitting to MRSA, Salmonella, E.Coli etc. and having to deal with reducing risks.
As a shipping and transport man, the writer knows that on average buying local does not save food miles. The whole concept is logistically illiterate. It would take hours of complex arguments to try to counter the not unreasonable perception that local does save miles, because it seems self-evident, but it is simply a fallacy.
As a former customs agent, and heavily involved in introducing computerised customs systems to the world, he faced exactly the same problem with IIIIM (imaginary illegally imported infected meat) being the source of CSF - Classified Swine Fever and FMD - Foot and Mouth Disease in 2000 and 2001. It wasn't, but nobody in their right mind exposes border control secrets in this dangerous world. So the apparently reasonable idea that IIIIM was the cause, sponsored by corrupt veterinarians, much money and a lot of fabrication, stuck.
Farming is happy with the idea too. They don't really want the more awkward truth.
By chance, all these scandals hit on areas where the writer was an expert and had no axe to grind. By chance, he saw with his own eyes the most senior British government officials faking results and threatening anyone exposing them.
That was the writer's misfortune; it should be the world's good fortune.
We need honest experts we can trust, and truthful witnesses prepared to give evidence.
So it is left to the crooks and the cranks to battle it out supported by the ignorant and biased. The ignorant, in the proper sense of the word, will be biased if they have the wrong information. The mass of misleading information flooding the English speaking world drives the writer to despair some days.
Local is not safer and does not save food miles.
It may actually be riskier and consume more energy. Imported is not more dangerous, it may even be safer. There is no direct connection, however much many may want a convenient congenial solution for sick livestock, contaminated water supplies and dangerous food.
Anyway, here is Marler on raw milk. Another expert, but making a better job of getting his voice heard. He is lucky he is not in the world's first, only and undoubtedly last vetocracy.
By the time we have dodged Murdoch and his merry men, shaken off the libelous politburo of uk.business.agriculture, circumnavigated the NHS and managed to get out and back again, nothing is left for shouting even louder.
That is why we look to America, in their own interests if necessary, to help sort out Britain.
Who wants to live in a country where the rot starts at a top blackmailed by crooks and the lawyers of the victims are tailed through the streets in an attempt to intimidate?
The writer has been publicly called a traitor to his country for seeking help in the USA.
If that is being a traitor, it is a badge he wears with pride for defending the children of Britain from crooks.
Link to Food Safety News World here
It has been a busy week in the Food Safety News World
Posted by Bill Marler on July 25, 2011
It started out with my comments in the article - "El Dorado County farmers challenge food regulations" on the desire by some to forgo food safety oversight simply because the food is local. I had a different take: Local food isn't necessarily healthy food, said Bill Marler, a Seattle food safety attorney.
"What these kind of ordinances are trying to do is 'let me do whatever I want to do because I believe (that) because my product is local it's safe,' " Marler said. "And that's baloney."
Marler is a sponsor of www.rawmilkfacts.com, a website Lyle cited in support of state rules.
People are unaware of the dangers of uninspected foods because they don't see the consequences, Marler said. "I've been in a lot of ICUs, I've been at funerals, I've seen children die because of what's in the food," he said.
"Regulation is not a bad thing," Marler added....(more)