Communism And Cat Food
By Thomas Riggins
15 May, 2007
we have recently been reading about all that contaminated cat food (also
dog food and feed for some other animals) that had to be recalled because
it was full of Chinese wheat gluten. The NY Times reports (5/3/07) that
thousands of animals have become sick or died (according to the FDA
4000 dogs and cats have died already). How did it happen?
We all know that capitalists
guiding interest is to make the biggest possible profit. They hate regulations
(bad for business) and when they are regulated will try to get around
the regulations anyway they can.
The Bush administration,
very capitalist friendly, has really helped the American capitalists
by pushing deregulation, supporting “voluntary compliance”
(i.e., no compliance), and failing to use the federal regulatory agencies
to really regulate. Thus OSHA doesn’t inspect, the Labor Department
doesn’t properly function, we don’t how much mad cow disease
is in the country because
of the Agriculture Department, unsafe drugs are on the market because
of the FDA, etc., across. Bush is the best president fro business, the
worse for people.
Now the Chinese are finding
out how capitalism works as well. The Times reported earlier that the
same contaminant that is killing American pets is routinely put into
people food in China as well as animal feed.
The chemical is melamine.
It has the wonderful property (besides making you sick and maybe killing
you) of showing up on food testing not as melamine but as protein--
it is also very cheap. So, if the food product you are making to sell
doesn't have enough protein so you could not pass government inspection
and sell it, just dump some melamine into it, definitely don’t
list this in your ingredients, and Presto Change-O, your product now
passes with flying colors as good nutritious food (just don’t
eat any of it yourself, or, if its pet food, let your own pets near
Even better, just use the
melamine in your product because it is so cheap so you don’t have
to put so much expensive protein in your product in the first place.
This is par for the course
for capitalism. The Times tells us that, "A similar practice once
took place in the United States and in China involving a related compound
called urea, but that compound is now more widely tested for and is
banned from certain feeds in the United States."
The Xuzhou Anying Biologic
Technology Development Company, operating under the “its good
to get rich slogan” is, the Times says, one of the two companies
that sent the tainted wheat gluten to the US.
They got the stuff out of
China by labeling it as nonfood so they were not inspected. That means
they knew what was going on. They then sold it to the American pet food
companies as a food additive. Goodbye Fluffy!
The theory is that the two
firms that sold the food additive didn't even make it (although they
are on record as having done so). They just bought it from many little
companies around China (the Chinese government said 25 other companies
were in on it), which indicates that there is wide spread food contamination
going on in the country.
"This is simple greed,"
said Marion Nestle, an NYU professor of public health, food and nutrition.
Its really not all that simple. It is rather just how capitalism works.
It tries in every way to maximize its profits. That is why deregulation
is a bad idea.
Capitalism is an inherently
self destructive system, its leads to environmental pollution, wars
to gain control of markets and resources, and exploitation of workers
and consumers. The more government regulates it the less dangerous it
is, but the danger will always be there until the day we can abolish
the system altogether.
is the book review editor at Political Affairs and can be reached at
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