Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Building a Culture of Dependency: Start 'Em Young Says Tom Vilsack

The Associated Press obtained portions of a speech that Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack was to deliver yesterday at the National Press Club. 50 inches of warmal colding prevented the speech, but Vilsack's Statist message is crystal clear.

The Obama administration will ask Congress to improve childhood nutrition by ridding school vending machines of sugary snacks and drinks and giving school lunch and breakfast to more kids... the administration will seek changes when Congress overhauls the Childhood Nutrition Act.

...Child nutrition and obesity have emerged as key issues for the Obama administration. First Lady Michelle Obama plans to launch a campaign against childhood obesity on Tuesday.

Vilsack outlined changes that include a push to jettison cookies, cakes, pastries and salty food from school vending machines and cafeteria lines. Vilsack says schools need to help kids eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

...The administration also wants to enroll more kids in school lunch programs and boost the number of schools offering breakfast. Vilsack said the administration would also push for bigger reimbursements for schools serving breakfast.

Questions, so many questions come to mind:

• Under what authority does the federal government claim the right to regulate vending machines?

• How many new regulatory bodies will try to enforce -- and then screw up -- these attempts?

• Are private schools eligible for the program? Or is this simply a way to limit school choice in a blatant attempt to repay the teachers' unions for their staunch support?

When you're dependent upon the government for your food, you're essentially a slave.

To put these plans into context, consider the recent headlines that demonstrate the scale of the federal government's failures in running the current school lunch program.

USA Today: 26,500 school cafeterias lack required inspections

USA Today: Fast-food standards for meat top those for school lunches

Oh, that one looks interesting. Let's check it out:

In the past three years, the government has provided the nation's schools with millions of pounds of beef and chicken that wouldn't meet the quality or safety standards of many fast-food restaurants, from Jack in the Box and other burger places to chicken chains such as KFC, a USA TODAY investigation found.

...McDonald's, Burger King and Costco, for instance, are far more rigorous in checking for bacteria and dangerous pathogens. They test the ground beef they buy five to 10 times more often than the USDA tests beef made for schools during a typical production day.

And the limits Jack in the Box and other big retailers set for certain bacteria in their burgers are up to 10 times more stringent than what the USDA sets for school beef.

For chicken, the USDA has supplied schools with thousands of tons of meat from old birds that might otherwise go to compost or pet food. Called "spent hens" because they're past their egg-laying prime, the chickens don't pass muster with Colonel Sanders— KFC won't buy them — and they don't pass the soup test, either. The Campbell Soup Company says it stopped using them a decade ago based on "quality considerations."

Yesterday, after the story broke, Food Product Design Magazine described Vilsack's simple, elegant structure that husbands taxpayer funds and ensures rock-solid safety for students:

The combined effort of the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) include the following:

● AMS will implement new food-safety purchasing requirements for its beef suppliers as a result of a review of the beef purchase program conducted by FSIS and ARS...

● ARS and FSIS will provide technical assistance to AMS...

● National Academy of Sciences will review the ground beef purchasing program... will conduct a thorough evaluation of the scientific validity of the current AMS technical requirements...

● AMS will increase information sharing with other agencies...

● FSIS will work with AMS to review and evaluate meat, poultry and processed egg vendors as part of the AMS vendor eligibility process.

● FNS will review and evaluate methods currently being used by state agencies to communicate with schools and school districts regarding product recalls... FNS will provide financial assistance to states to allow them to upgrade the speed and accuracy of their food-safety messages.

● FNS will establish a Center of Excellence devoted to research on school food-safety issues in FNS child nutrition programs...

● FSA is evaluating and strengthening current requirements and will amend those requirements to better reflect compliance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and use of a verified Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points program...

What could possibly go wrong?

In short, everything this administration touches turns to crap. And everything they're after is politically, not Constitutionally, motivated. The true rationale for Vilsack's announcement is consistent with the Statist agenda in every way: more government; more unionization; more taxpayer money stolen and wasted; and more dependency.


Anonymous said...

In the kazilion pages of the original stealth-care bill, there were the "fat police", union members of the new organized socialist health care team, who were to visit, monitor and consult fat kids and/or parents.

With the stealth-care bill possibly heading towards critical condition, the unions need a straw to grasp. Obam's administration, in order to keep their support, needs to keep the "fat police" jobs alive and kicking.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's it, vending machines make kids fat and guns kill people and hot coffee in my crotch is the fault of someone else. This is a perfect illustration of liberal philosophy. The government is the only thing that can save us from ourselves. If the stars and planets align and the heavens favor us this administration and its sycophants will disappear and be remembered only as a bad joke by history.