Originally created 01/05/02

End subsidies to meat industry

We were all greatly shocked, saddened then angered by the loss of more than 3,000 innocent lives on Sept. 11. Our government has taken drastic steps to prevent a recurrence of such tragedy.

Then, on Dec. 13, U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher announced that a hundred times that many Americans die each year of diseases caused or aggravated by obesity - a self-inflicted, totally preventable tragedy. More than 61 percent of adults and 14 percent of children are affected. The estimated annual cost to our nation is $117 billion.

Yet, our government is not mobilizing the National Guard at fast food restaurants. It is not detaining hundreds of meat and dairy distributors for secret interrogation. It is not suggesting military tribunals for officials of the meat and dairy industries.

Instead, Congress votes additional subsidies for meat and dairy agribusiness. The U.S. Department of Agriculture dumps meat and dairy surpluses on school children. Government medical programs treat victims of obesity at taxpayer expense, without seeking redress from the perpetrators.

As free Americans, we don't have to suffer from our government's myopic perspective.

This year, let us resolve to replace meat, dairy and other fatty foods in our diet with wholesome grains, vegetables and fruits ... Let us reclaim our health and get a new lease on life.

Frank Lewis, Augusta


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