Originally created 07/31/00

Washington undercuts safe meats



Thank you for your July 23 editorial, "Don't cut meat standards." Washington must be made aware that the consuming public does not want long-established meat inspection laws to be bent to the commercial advantage of the big meat industry.

The Clinton administration has had close financial ties with "Big Meat" from his days as governor of Arkansas. Recall Hillary Clinton's miraculous purchase of cattle futures stock that overnight went from an initial cost of several thousand to a net gain of $100,000.

That pay-back time is at hand is painfully oblivious. Food regulations have been simplified to a point where a thick book of time-honored industry standards has been reduced to several paragraphs of oblique suggestions.

The political hack Tommy Billy, administrative head of the meat inspection division at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, has done his job well. He has vilified and negated the established role of the federal meat inspector from day one of his appointment.

My recommendation for anyone who enjoys a hamburger or a handful of chicken McNuggets is to contact their political representative today. The way your food is inspected is under legislated attack at this moment in Washington.

Tom Roberts, North Augusta