ThinkProgress has already documented the hypocrisy in Rep. Steve King’s (R-IA) attempt to overturn California’s prohibitions on foie gras and inhumanely produced eggs, while insisting that the state can ban birth control. But King’s amendment to the latest farm bill — introduced very shortly before its near-literal midnight passage — doesn’t only affect California. It threatens to destroy state regulations on food safety altogether, according to an analysis by the nonpartisan Environmental Working Group’s legal expert Heather White:
[T]he amendment would “prohibit any state or local government” from “impos[ing] a standard or condition on the production or manufacture of any agricultural product sold or offered for sale in interstate commerce” if 1) production of the agricultural product also occurs in another state; and 2) the standard is in addition to the production or manufacture to federal law and the laws of the state is which such production occurs.” This impenetrable language simply means that states would be prevented from regulating just about any agricultural product in commerce – contrary to the well-grounded constitutional principles of state police power to protect the health and safety of its citizens within the state.
Foodborne illnesses already kill 3000 and sicken roughly 48 million Americans annually. CAFOs, also known as factory farms, were likely responsible for the incubation of swine flu, which has killed almost 11,000 Americans and about 25,000 people worldwide to date. This is because the horrific conditions factory farm animals are kept in function as “perfect breeders” for new and more deadly strains of illness. Further, according to a Humane Society investigation, factory farms “produce immense quantities of animal waste and byproducts, which threaten water and air quality and contribute to climate change.”
So a pregnant woman gets sick from tainted food, which wouldn't be tainted if we had better inspections. That mother ends dying from the illness, taking the life of her unborn child with her. This really sounds like Republican supported abortion to me.
And it doesn't stop at the pregnancy phase. Once the child is born and the mother breasts feed, she risks passing disease onto her child. Given our high health care premiums, co-pays and deductibles, plus our dwindling wages, the chance of the mother going to the doctor when she feels ill are diminishing. They now have added costs in the household and things like doctor visits now become less important. That puts not only the health of the mother at risk, but also the health of the newborn.
And if the whole abortion issue isn't your cup of tea, then consider this. Food safety isn't about the government trying to infringe on free market. Instead, it's about the government trying to protect it. We need a strong and healthy workforce. If the very essence of life is tainted, this makes our workforce ill and decreases productivity. And while the patient is the victim of the disease, we can't overlook the economy as falling prey also.
I believe it's time for Republicans to stop the war against our children, both unborn and born alike. It's time for them to stop being the "pro-death' party and instead embrace the "pro-life" views of those who support keeping our food chain safe. If they truly believe what they say about protecting an unborn child and keeping the free market flowing, then they will support the simplest things, like food safety inspections.