It is bad enough to have a risky agreement coming up between the United States and China over pork, but there is an even worse scenario facing us, possibly before the end of this calendar year.
Here is how it could play out: thoughtless voters either don't go to the polls this November, or people vote with Obama Derangement Syndrome and vote in new Republicans to take the majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
Some people think this would be a really good outcome of the 2014 mid-term elections (but not if they have new health insurance they got under the Affordable Care Act). Nevertheless, the Republican congress will then get to work approving trade deals and eliminating inspection, possibly even abolishing the Food and Drug Administration.
Beef imports begin arriving from Brazil. The overstretched and underfunded FDA, if it still exists, tries its best to inspect meat if it is allowed. But Brazil still has hoof and mouth disease, a super-contagious bovine illness that requires that the animals be killed--the only way to prevent the spread of the disease.
Hoof and mouth disease breaks out in the U. S. Thousands upon thousands of cattle, both beef and dairy, must be destroyed. The beef industry is decimated. The dairy industry is devastated.
This is not an impossible outcome of eliminating regulation. It is not impossible that contaminated Chinese-produced pork products will be marketed in the U. S. due to laxity in inspection.
The American people will have no one to blame but themselves if they vote with this kind of stupidity, buying into the propaganda that nothing must be allowed to stand in the way of corporations reaping maximum profits without paying their fair share of taxes. I could go on about corporations who move their headquarters to other countries to avoid American taxes, the outsourcing of jobs for the sake of cheap labor, and more. But the purpose of this column is specific: be careful who you vote for.
Beef from Brazil could begin arriving in the U. S. from Brazil by the end of this year. Newly-elected Republicans could begin ramming legislation over presidential vetoes. Those who raise cattle could be wiped out by an epidemic of hoof and mouth disease within two or three years--an impact from which they may never recover.
The damage may be permanent simply because of the number of people who will choose not to eat beef or pork when one or more food disasters runs its course in our back yards. By that time the lives of thousands of innocent animals will be lost for the human incompetence that took place in this year's mid-term elections.
This is your responsibility. You will bear the consequences; I will not, because if this import program from Brazil begins I will no longer eat beef, period. It is heartbreaking but I would have no other option; will you?