An online journal of politics, policy, and society with a special focus on Maryland -- Contact: on_background at yahoo.com.

Friday, January 02, 2004


Am I the only one who is concerned about the fact that so-called downer cattle have been used for our food? This means that animals that were sick or injured enough that they could not stand on their own were cut up into our hamburgers until recent rule changes (according to various articles in the Washington Post and elsewhere). The Post goes on to detail how the steps the Bush Administration took in response to the BSE/Mad Cow Disease outbreak were the same measures that Republicans in Washington had stopped in the previous congressional session. It does make one question how safe our food and products are generally, and how often safety standards and the public interest in general are compromised in an effort to help business. It make one appreciate groups like the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Speaking of the public interest and consumer protection, check out the good stuff available from Consumer Reports to have a better idea of what you are buying and what you should be buying. This month's issue of the magazine has helpful stuff on cell phone plans, the new household buying guide is out, and the car (new or used) buying guide is gold for anyone who wants to make decisions based on independent facts. In a caveat emptor world, information is key.