Robert Lighthizer Confirmed as U.S. Trade Representative – Senate Vote: 82-14

All positions have some bearing on the average American; however, some confirmation votes are more directly tied to the well-being of ordinary people than others.  This confirmation will directly and specifically make the lives of middle-class workers, and ordinary American people, improve.

Thank you to those who contacted their Senator and applied the pressure.  There was a great deal of feedback received by the senate in the past 24 hours.  There are those within the swamp lobbying community who are beginning to understand that WE KNOW far more than they ever thought we know.  Change is a direct consequence of that reality.

In a strong showing of bi-partisan support for Trump’s ‘America First’ trade platform the nominee for U.S. Trade Representative, Robert Lighthizer, was confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 82-14.  The U.S. Trade Representative is a critical position ahead of renegotiations of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico.

Three Republicans voted NO: ♦Cory Gardner (Colorado), ♦John McCain (Arizona), and ♦Ben Sasse (Nebraska).

For the past 30 years Lighthizer has been a trade lawyer representing American steel companies in their efforts to fight dumping of foreign-made steel below costs and unfair steel subsidies from foreign governments. He has pledged to strengthen enforcement of existing trade deals and to find new legal tools to combat unfair trade practices.

Lighthizer has criticized some Republicans for being too pro-free trade. He told a Senate panel this year that the U.S. should have an “America first trade policy.”  “We can do better in negotiating our trade agreements and stronger in enforcing our trade laws,” he said.

(Reuters) […]  [President]  Trump has said the 23-year-old trade pact devastated U.S. workers and has vowed to tear it up if he fails to get a better deal.

Some Democrats, while critical of Trump’s own views on trade, said they were confident Lighthizer, who served in the Reagan administration as deputy U.S. Trade Representative, would work to help U.S. workers.

“He’s a real pro,” Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, said before voting in favor of Lighthizer’s nomination.

Lighthizer’s approval came despite the objections of two Republican senators, John McCain of Arizona and Ben Sasse of Nebraska, who said they were worried Lighthizer did not appreciate NAFTA’s benefits.

While the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico has ballooned since the trade deal was enacted in 1994, U.S. farmers have profited from exports to America’s southern neighbor while automakers have cut costs by building cross-border supply chains that benefit from lower Mexican wages.

Orrin Hatch, a Utah Republican who chairs the Senate Finance Committee and voted in favor of Lighthizer’s nomination, also urged the incoming trade representative to be careful not to put at risk the gains NAFTA has brought.  (read more)

Here’s how they voted.

Voted NO:

Blumenthal (D-CT), Nay
Gardner (R-CO), Nay
Gillibrand (D-NY), Nay
Harris (D-CA), Nay
Markey (D-MA), Nay
McCain (R-AZ), Nay
Merkley (D-OR), Nay
Reed (D-RI), Nay
Sanders (I-VT), Nay
Sasse (R-NE), Nay
Schatz (D-HI), Nay
Schumer (D-NY), Nay
Warren (D-MA), Nay
Whitehouse (D-RI), Nay

Voted Yes:

Alexander (R-TN), Yea – Baldwin (D-WI), Yea – Barrasso (R-WY), Yea – Bennet (D-CO), Yea – Blunt (R-MO), Yea – Booker (D-NJ), Yea – Boozman (R-AR), Yea – Brown (D-OH), Yea – Burr (R-NC), Yea – Cantwell (D-WA), Yea – Capito (R-WV), Not Voting – Cardin (D-MD), Yea – Carper (D-DE), Yea – Casey (D-PA), Yea – Cassidy (R-LA), Yea – Cochran (R-MS), Yea – Collins (R-ME), Yea – Coons (D-DE), Yea – Corker (R-TN), Yea – Cornyn (R-TX), Yea – Cortez Masto (D-NV), Yea – Cotton (R-AR), Yea – Crapo (R-ID), Yea – Cruz (R-TX), Yea – Daines (R-MT), Yea – Donnelly (D-IN), Yea – Duckworth (D-IL), Yea – Durbin (D-IL), Yea – Enzi (R-WY), Yea – Ernst (R-IA), Yea – Feinstein (D-CA), Yea – Fischer (R-NE), Yea – Flake (R-AZ), Yea – Franken (D-MN), Yea – Graham (R-SC), Yea – Grassley (R-IA), Yea – Hassan (D-NH), Yea – Hatch (R-UT), Yea – Heinrich (D-NM), Yea – Heitkamp (D-ND), Yea – Heller (R-NV), Yea – Hirono (D-HI), Yea – Hoeven (R-ND), Yea – Inhofe (R-OK), Yea – Isakson (R-GA), Not Voting – Johnson (R-WI), Yea – Kaine (D-VA), Yea – Kennedy (R-LA), Yea – King (I-ME), Yea – Klobuchar (D-MN), Yea – Lankford (R-OK), Yea – Leahy (D-VT), Yea – Lee (R-UT), Yea – Manchin (D-WV), Yea – McCaskill (D-MO), Yea – McConnell (R-KY), Yea – Menendez (D-NJ), Yea – Moran (R-KS), Yea – Murkowski (R-AK), Not Voting – Murphy (D-CT), Yea – Murray (D-WA), Yea – Nelson (D-FL), Yea – Paul (R-KY), Yea – Perdue (R-GA), Yea – Peters (D-MI), Yea – Portman (R-OH), Yea – Risch (R-ID), Yea – Roberts (R-KS), Yea – Rounds (R-SD), Yea – Rubio (R-FL), Yea – Scott (R-SC), Yea – Shaheen (D-NH), Yea – Shelby (R-AL), Yea – Stabenow (D-MI), Yea – Strange (R-AL), Yea – Sullivan (R-AK), Not Voting – Tester (D-MT), Yea – Thune (R-SD), Yea – Tillis (R-NC), Yea – Toomey (R-PA), Yea – Udall (D-NM), Yea – Van Hollen (D-MD), Yea – Warner (D-VA), Yea – Wicker (R-MS), Yea – Wyden (D-OR), Yea – Young (R-IN), Yea

K-Street wants to retain three decades of Wall Street control over trade to position the multinational interests as a priority.  President Trump wants to break K-Streets lobbying grip and work trade policies that benefit Main Street, not Wall Street.

The issue(s) behind the argument is/are complex, and the political lobbying expenditures only compound the matter.  In essence over the past three decades large portions of U.S. agriculture have been sold to multinational corporations.  With control over production principles, those multinational corporations manipulate the market value of U.S. agricultural outputs to retain the highest profit margin.

It is not a free market system, it’s a controlled market system; and the control is not domestic ownership, it’s multinational corporations.  Part of the way they control the pricing of U.S. agriculture outputs is through export control; the traditional supply and demand commodity equation is non-existent.

This is not a free market.  When multinational corporations control commodity pricing, it is not a free market.  The paradigm that everyone needs to remember is that a free market doesn’t exist because the owners (control agents) of the market are not independent – they are massive institutional multinational corporations.  Through heavy handed contracts pushed on farmers they control the product from field to processing and beyond.

The export of domestic food production is a big part of the reason why U.S. food prices have skyrocketed in the past decade.  The corporations factor in an ability for the U.S. to afford higher prices than alternative destination nations; they know you have the ability to pay more, so they export more and recipient nations pay less.

Again, it’s a complex dynamic but this also ties into the same groups lobbying for increased consumer welfare payments on SNAP and EBT (food stamp) legislation.  Yes, multinational corporations -who control agriculture- lobby congress to fund more subsidy payments for food.  This allows them to export more, tighten the domestic supply, drive up U.S. pricing and increase their profit.  It’s a deeply tentacled controlled process toward increasing the bottom line profit margin of the Wall Street entities.

They have more to export (they make more money), and they drive up the domestic pricing (they make more money), and they pay the lobbyists for welfare legislation to subsidize U.S. food pricing (they make more money).   That’s the basic scheme, and when you know the financial con you can spot their motives.

This entry was posted in Big Government, Big Stupid Government, Canada, China, Decepticons, Deep State, Legislation, media bias, Mexico, Mitch McConnell, President Trump, Trade Deal, Uncategorized, US dept of agriculture, US Treasury, USA. Bookmark the permalink.

248 Responses to Robert Lighthizer Confirmed as U.S. Trade Representative – Senate Vote: 82-14

  1. Pam says:

    Liked by 4 people

    • decisiontime16 says:

      McCain and Sasse voted no. Shocker!

      Liked by 7 people

      • THose 2need to be repealed! Notice the one mature democratic senator voted yes for this confirmation and also said she has seen NO evidence of a Trump Russian connection. Perhaps she should be given a little more media time as she seems to be one of the few semi sain dems on the hill. Feinstein.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Old Codger says:

        Cory Gardner, too! That little Colorado PIMP-WEASEL need to be primaried next election!

        Liked by 4 people

      • farmhand1927 says:

        Cory Gardner, so called Repub from Colorado, also voted with his Leftist friends. Like Sasse, Gardner portrayed himself as a rock rib conservative when he ran for the Senate. Small town boy, model husband and father, son of a tractor and farm implement dealer.

        This isn’t the first time Sen. Gardner has ignored the conservative base in his home state. During the presidential primaries he was outspoken against President Trump. Mr. Cleancut and Wholesome was anything but when he released his anti-Trump statements at the behest of his big donors and other Swamp Crawlers. Gardner hopped on every Never Trump bandwagon that rolled down the street and was never shy abt public name-calling.

        Expect, without question, to be primaried next time around, Sen. Gardner. Colorado conservatives have had enough of you and the elitist crew that run the GOP in the Centennial State. MAGA is happening and it’s being done President Trump’s way, whether you like it or not.

        Liked by 2 people

      • domain496 says:

        McStain being McStain. No cause is too American to fail to betray.

        Liked by 1 person

      • kp3ace says:

        I guess I should have notified Sen. Cory Gardner that I disapprove of his vote. Lol


  2. TwoLaine says:

    BAM! Take that Twits and Twats!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. DeplorableHoosierFriend? says:

    Sundance, for years (and I mean like 30 years) my father and I have talked about the carrot being moved further away from us at every major life juncture. He and I have always known that we (all American’s) we’re getting screwed but we didn’t know exactly how. Your revelations are both enlightening and maddening, i.e., angering. While my family and I have a good life, it is a monthly moment of, “will we make it another?”. I am thankful for your shedding of light on what we (American’s) have been up against. And I am hopeful that my children will have a better life because of work like yours. A life like my Grandparents had… Thank you, Sundance.

    Liked by 12 people

    • farmhand1927 says:

      Thank you for a heartfelt post, DeplorableHoosier. Fleeing the taxation and other political issues in Illinois, I relocated for several years to Indiana. The contrast between the two neighboring states remains stark. Indiana is a great state in many ways so I hope you and your family take heart, as mega millions of Americans are doing.

      America is becoming great again. Yesterday our President signed an order that will allow a group of Secretaries of States to obtain federal information to help them clean up voter fraud in their states. Our rivals on the Left won’t talk abt what really needs to be done to stop election tampering, but our President will. Adverse outcomes in our elections happen due to fraud willfully committed by American citizens, certain politicians and votes cast by non-citizens.

      There is so much great news for America’s future but our lyin’ crooked media won’t report most of it. They can’t. If all Americans were to be informed as we are, the Dims wouldn’t win another election. As long as our President stays strong and resolved and as long as we Deplorables stay united behind him, beside him and take some arrows in front of him, MAGA will happen. It can’t be stopped. Good news, prosperity, safety and happiness is available to all if we’ll embrace it and stay on task of keeping others encouraged and bringing more on board.

      Proof our beloved America is moving in the right direction comes from Reuters, May 11: “The U.S. Govt. had a $182 billion budget surplus in April (2017), confounding market expectations for a deficit. The budget surplus was $106 billion in April 2016.” (The market projectionists were ‘confounded’ because they expected a deficit, not a huge surplus. MAGA happens in spite of what all the obstructionists, liars and fools say.)

      More positive news…The Fiscal 2017 year-to-date deficit was released by the Treasury Dept., at $344 billion. By comparison, the deficit was $353 in the same period of Fiscal 2016.

      Winning. And we’re not tired of it, Mr. President!

      Liked by 3 people

      • DeplorableHoosierFriend? says:

        Thanks, Farmhand1927. I sincerely appreciate your kind response. While my aged father and I won’t realize the kind of lives my grandparents had I certainly am optimistic that my kids will have a much better chance at the ‘American Dream’.

        Thank you, again, for your very well informed response.

        Liked by 2 people

      • kp3ace says:

        If we don’t give them names (Republican, Democrat, Rino, Liberal, Green party, etc.) wouldn’t that force people to find out who that candidate is as well as prevent “partisan politics”?


  4. Left_at_Dunkirk says:

    Bernie voted NO and against American workers. Always suspected he was a complete poser. Maybe he is just jealous that Trump is actually implementing the trade policies that he espoused. Heck, Hillary and the DNC refused to give him TPP repeal in even the convention platform.


    Liked by 6 people

  5. CathyMAGA says:

    So, does this mean at some point, I will be able to buy PRODUCE actually grown here instead of Mexico, Chile. and Canada? Sick of that.

    Liked by 5 people

    • mireilleg says:

      It would be so nice.

      Liked by 2 people

    • ConservativeInAZ says:

      That would be great. I know this might sound crazy, but I always wonder if the increase in breast cancer or cancers in general…is related to all the food shipped in from Mexico. You can’t drink the water…how can the food be any better.

      Liked by 4 people

    • Marc says:

      But…but…but…what about those avocados from Mexico???


      • CathyMAGA says:

        Hate them. Rarely but them…read all produce labels, and avoid buying anything from Mexico.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Patriot Lady says:

          I will not buy any produce with a Mexican or S. American label on it. I’ve even seen fresh garlic from China, canned peaches from China and pickle relish from India called “Lady Liberty” trying to imply it’s American. It’s not. Don’t be fooled, friends. Take time and read the labels and stickers. I’m now more concerned about the origin of the foods I buy, than the price! I’ll force myself to by a Canada product if I can’t find produce with the ‘USA’ sticker, but that’s the only one.
          I remember a report about 20 years ago about California school kids getting sick eating fresh strawberries in their cafeteria because of the berries contaminated because the Mexicans pickers defecated in the fields as they picked the berries.

          Liked by 1 person

          • CathyMAGA says:

            Yep. Same here. I agree with the last part too. I was just having this conversation the other day at work. It’s the reason for a lot of diseases/bacteria in out foods.


  6. Duckman says:

    I know 1st hand about the steel imports and their lack of quality in particular. I worked offshore for several years. Our company had a American steel only policy. We bought for instance Crosby shackles. One night while running a “mux” reel, (mux or muliticable umbilical cable) for the riser pipe down to the BOP or blow out preventer on top of the well head. A roughneck or roustabout would secure the mux to the riser and we would lower the riser down and I would run the reel to pay out the mux. The mux ran over the top of a sheave which was held aloft by a shackle. On this one occasion, I stopped the mux as I received the signal to stop and the shackle jumped abit because the signal was a bit late, I received it over a radio from the rig floor. I was at the mux station above the moon pool. The roughneck secured the mux to the riser and just as he stepped away, the shackle broke and the sheave fell and landed where he had JUST been standing over 60 feet below. The sheave weighted over 100 pounds at least. We had an investigation, I was questioned about the incident and a report was compiled. We sent the shackle to the lab and the results were, it was NOT a Crosby, it was a made in CHINA knock off. The shackle was of very poor quality. We pulled ALL of our metal inventory out and had it replaced at great expense. This almost caused a loss of life. He retired the next day. Imports of steel and other goods such as this and of poor quality are in are industries everywhere and even in our Navy ships! This is NOT good!

    Liked by 10 people

    • ronheinzkaboot says:

      Thanks for posting this. Its the tip of the iceberg. It really puts it in picture and its what Republicans should do more…tell stories. Its not just for celebrities. They want you to think of NAFTA and policies in abstract ways but like you show we all have skin in the game. Thank you again.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Sayit2016 says:

      Exactly– look at the buildings in China that are bowing and collapsing because of inferior steel….

      Liked by 1 person

    • AJ says:

      Let me get this right. The mux is connected to the riser is connected to the BOP is connected with a shackle by the roughneck on the rig above the water?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Sayit2016 says:

    Ok …lemme get this straight…So Sasse, Gardner and McCain…..THE 3 STOOGES…voted against this placement because they actually think with Mr. Lighthizer’s 30 years experience, that he has no working knowledge of the effect of NAFTA on the US economy? If NAFTA was such a successful and financially productive agreement for the US, it would not need to be re-negotiating. Do they actually think if there was any line item that was PRODUCTIVE for the US he would put a big red X through it? Do they think they would not be given the opportunity to speak their minds to him as REPUBLICANS? My God they are as bad as the Democrats. Double ugh !!!

    Liked by 7 people

    • tempo150101 says:

      Wilbur Ross is a billionaire who made his money buying distressed companies. If anybody should know about trade, it’s him and he says NAFTA needs to be renegotiated.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Patriot Lady says:

      These Republicans are worse than the Democrats– because they’re Republicans!
      They’re wolves in sheep’s clothing.


      • Sayit2016 says:

        I tend to agree. I have never seen such backstabbing from the Republicans to a president who kicked all of their asses. Sour grapes. No one stopped them from running and winning. I have no use for any of them to be quite honest.


  8. jmclever says:

    Does the fact that only three Republicans voted against My President’s pick mean that the NeverTrumpers are facing reality? It would certainly seem that McCain and Sasse have no influence, or at least they don’t have the influence they thought they did

    Liked by 3 people

  9. BobBoxBody says:

    The damn is breaking, and here comes the flood. To clean away the filth and make America great again!

    Liked by 4 people

  10. American People 82 defeat Uniparty 14. Is that the best they can do? Fourteen! Sheesh…

    Liked by 3 people

  11. auntiefran413 says:

    McCain and Sasse had announced that they wouldn’t vote for him. How fitting that their puny votes were not necessary to confirm a good man!

    Liked by 5 people

    • domain496 says:

      Hate is not the opposite of love, indifference is. By this count, perhaps the American people are becoming indifferent to the influence of MCStain and his buddies Sasse and Graham? We can hope. If their votes are rendered useless, their handlers will stop paying for them.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. G. Combs says:

    I entered the political fight a decade ago because of the trashing of US agriculture.

    Here are some tid bits from my old notes:
    Think of how the Global Elite would view this information:

    “FAO estimates that world food production would have to double to provide food security for the 8 billion people projected for 2025” (wwwDOT)

    “USA produces 80% of the cereals that are exported
    Spiro Agnew, a former US vice-president, pointed out that the USA’s domination of world cereal markets was one of its most powerful political weapons.
    Today, large corporate farms account for nearly ¾ of all farm sales in the U.S […] to address some concerns and ensure the future sustainability of agricultural production, researchers are starting to emphasize “agro-diversity” – a combination of smaller-scale, locally-based polyculture production methods.”

    Global Diversity Treaty,
    Collect seeds the world over so Corporations can patent the DNA and sell the seeds to farmers however they don’t bather to tell you that.

    Why the Treaty is important:
    The first meeting of the Governing Body of the International Treaty marks an historic moment for the future of food security. But why should anyone be interested in an extremely technical piece of international law? Here are some of the reasons why the Treaty is important.

    A treaty for agriculture. The Treaty is the first international law to deal specifically with the needs of agriculture. It covers the rich diversity hidden within the genes of the thousands of varieties of crops that feed humanity. From the very first domestication of a wild species—possibly a more than 12 000 years ago—agriculture has always depended on the exchange of genetic resources. The Treaty will make it easier for farmers and breeders to continue sharing those resources so that they can meet new challenges in the future. Challenges to farmers and agriculture do not stand still. New pests and diseases and changing growing conditions can only be addressed if farmers and scientists have access to as wide a range of resources as possible. By guaranteeing that access, the Treaty guarantees the future of agriculture.

    A multilateral system of access and benefit-sharing. By signing up to the Treaty, countries gain access to the genetic resources of all other signatories. This is much more effective than the alternative, which would require countries to negotiate bilaterally for access, especially when one considers that a new variety may count hundreds of varieties from scores of countries in its pedigree. Initially the multilateral system applies to 64 crops and forages that represent most of the crops that humanity depends on for its food supply.

    Benefit-sharing. The ‘owners’ of a commercialized product that incorporates material obtained the Treaty, through the multilateral system will pay a royalty into a special fund. Money from this fund will be used to boost conservation efforts in developing countries. Cash, however, is perhaps the least significant of the benefits that will flow from the Treaty, which also envisages information exchange, access to technology and transfer of technology.

    Benefits from the system will arise from royalties levied on commercial products developed using material of crops that have been included in the system. Thirty-five of the world’s most important food crops and a similar number of forages a re covered by the terms regulating the multilateral system. The royalty payment has been set at 1.1% of sales. It is mandatory if the product is unavailable for further breeding and research. Payments are voluntary if the products are available for further use. The funds will be devoted to conservation efforts, mainly in developing countries. [They steal the genetics from farmers all over the world who have developed the seeds and corporations pay an international treaty arm of the UN, meanwhile charging farmers for the seeds genectics THEY developed — Such a deal! ]

    The REAL reason behind Animal ID (that Senator Burr shoved down the throats of US farmers.)
    Paraphrased from Comment 9 Paul-Martin:Griepentrog — September 3, 2008

    The bottom line is that after 10 years of below normal prices here in Wis because the state allowed Equity Livestock Coop to create a monopoly, our savior has now arrived to burden us with contracts shifting all liability to feeder cattle producers if they can’t prove they are innocent. Samples will be the only way of proving your innocence in case of contamination found later. You will be required to cover ALL expenses in the event of contamination. [e-coli contamination is from bad slaughter practices that get feces from the intestines on the meat yet the USDA no longer inspects anything but paperwork and ALLOWS the meat to be washed off and sold for human consumption!]]

    The world’s biggest beef producer, Brazilian company JBS, has struck deals to buy two U.S. companies, Smithfield Beef Group and National Beef Packing Co, as well as Australia’s Tasman Group. JBS Swift is already the US largest Beef packer. Smithfield’s beef group is based in Green Bay, Wisconsin

    Liked by 3 people

  13. G. Combs says:

    More from the AG/Animal ID fight:
    I have pages and pages but this sampling shows what the Yellow Stream Media was covering up to get the Food Safety Modernization Act passed. This act as I mentioned before transfers control of USA food to the WTO and the United Nations. Entry of the USA into the WTO caused the food borne illnesses in the USA to DOUBLE! (I did the graphs shown to Congress.) This is the food YOU are eating and the drugs you are taking so please pay attention.

    The New York Times article “The Safety Gap” written by Gardiner Harris, 11/2/2008

    This year, 18.2 million shipments of food, devices, cosmetics and drugs are expected to enter more than 300 U.S. ports; the FDA had 454 investigators in 2007 — one and a half per port — to scrutinize them..

    China’s leap to one of the biggest suppliers of pharmaceutical ingredients in the world over the last decade [note the date], Generic drug makers in the United States, where price competition is fierce, were the first to seek cheaper drug ingredients…Over the past six years, the F.D.A. has managed to inspect annually an average of just 15 of the 714 Chinese drug plants that export to the United States. At its present pace, the FDA. would need more than 50 years to visit all Chinese plants. By contrast, the FDA. inspects domestic drug plants every 2.7 years ”

    Report Rips FDA Oversight Of Produce
    FDA’s efforts to combat foodborne illness are hampered by staffing shortages, infrequent inspections and lax enforcement at fresh produce processing plants, according to congressional investigators. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) report also said only 1% of produce imported into the U.S. is inspected, and the practice of mixing produce from several sources makes tracing contamination challenging

    The report said inspections at produce-processing facilities are rare, and when problems are discovered, FDA relies on the industry to correct them without oversight or follow-up. Between 2000 and 2007, FDA detected food safety problems at more than 40% of the 2,002 plants inspected, yet half of those plants were inspected only once. The plants with food safety problems received only warning letters from FDA, and even those ended in 2005…

    Salmonella Source Found
    “The Salmonella strain associated with the lastest foodborne illness outbreak has been found, in irrigation water as well as in a sample from some serrano peppers at a Mexican farm. The farm is located in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. “The agency seized no fresh produce, sought no injunctions and prosecuted no firms” (wwwDOT)

    John is a stand-up guy who truly cares about our food. He told me in an e-mail that a NY mag spent three days with him documenting this mess. The story was approved by the editor, ready to go to press when the owner of the mag stepped in and killed the story. So he went on the internet and to Mother Jones.

    Meatpacking Maverick: John Munsell’s against-the-odds struggle for improved food safety
    Mother Jones Magazine, December 2003 Issue By Michael Scherer Dec 29, 2003,

    Before the tainted beef arrived — USDA-approved and vacuum-sealed – Munsell had no reason to doubt the integrity of the food-safety system. But that changed after the meat he ground for hamburger tested positive for E. coli 0157:H7. Instead of tracking the contaminated meat back to its source, the USDA launched an investigation of Munsell’s own operation. Never mind that the local federal inspector had seen the beef go straight from the package into a clean grinder — a USDA spokesman called that testimony “hearsay.” By February 2002, three more tests of meat Munsell was grinding straight from the package came back positive. This time, as he would later testify in a government hearing, he had paperwork documenting that the beef came from a single source: ConAgra:

    Munsell fired off an angry email to the district USDA manager, warning of a potential public-health emergency, and adding that if no one tracked down the rest of the bad meat, “both of us should share a cell in Alcatraz.” The agency moved immediately and aggressively — not to recall meat from Greeley, but to shut down Munsell’s grinding operation, a punishment that lasted four months.
    Despite Munsell’s continued whistleblowing — to Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), national cattle associations, and his fellow meat processors — the USDA failed to address the alleged contamination at ConAgra’s Greely Plant. Then, in July 2002, Munsell’s worst fears came true. E. coli-tainted burger from Greeley killed an Ohio woman and sickened at least 35 others. ConAgra then recalled 19 million pounds of beef, one of the largest recalls in history.

    Unfortunately this is just one of many “incidents” handle in such a way that transnational corporations are not “inconvenienced”. Stanley Painter, Chairman of the National Food Inspection Unions, stated in his testimony at the congressional hearing on the Hallmark Dower Cows:

    …when we see violations of FSIS regulations and we are instructed not to write non-compliance reports… Sometimes even if we write non-compliance reports, some of the larger companies use their political muscle to get those overturned….Some of my members have been intimidated by agency management in the past when they came forward and tried to enforce agency regulations and policies. I will give you a personal example:

    In December 2004, I began to receive reports that the new SRM regulations were not being uniformly enforced. I wrote a letter to the Assistant FSIS Administrator for Field Operations at the time conveying to him what I had heard…I was paid a visit at my home in Alabama by an FSIS official dispatched from the Atlanta regional office to convince me to drop the issue. I told him that I would not. Then, the agency summoned me to come here to Washington, DC where agency officials subjected me to several hours of interrogation including wanting me to identify which of my members were blowing the whistle on the SRM removal violations. I refused to do so….I was then placed on disciplinary investigation status. The agency even contacted the USDA Office of Inspector General to explore criminal charges being filed against me…

    Both my union AFGE and the consumer group Public Citizen filed separate Freedom of Information Act requests in December 2004 for any non-compliance records in the FSIS data base that would support my allegations. It was not until August 2005 that over 1000 non-compliance reports – weighing some 16 pounds — were turned over to both AFGE and Public Citizen that proved that what my members were telling me was correct – that some beef slaughter facilities were not complying with the SRM removal regulations… on the same day those records were released, I received written notification from the agency that they were dropping their disciplinary investigation – eight months after their “investigation” began.
    [SRM removal regulations concern brain and spine removal to prevent BSE]

    “Today, America has the safest food in the world.” stated Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman in 1997.(again note that date, it is significant) (wwwDOT)
    Yet during the last few years the USDA has spent millions of dollars and hours of time bribing states, tribes and breed associations to back the implementation of “traceability”. What is “traceability”?

    Traceability has four parts, all paid for by the farmer:
    1. Premises ID removes privacy rights from land and become a permanent part of the deed. It places information about the residence into a data base and allows search without a warrant.

    2. Animal ID (NAIS) puts RFID tags on every horse, bird and livestock animal in the nation and requires the owner to have a Premise ID. (Corporate Factory Farms are exempt from tagging)

    3. Tracking is input of movement by an animal off the premises into a database within 24 hrs.

    4. Penalties of up to of $1,000,000 in fines and ten years in jail.

    [The outcry from US farmers was so loud they backed off this original plan but as we found out from the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, ALL the original provisions will creep back in over time as one liners added to other bills. The Globalist are determined to have it ALL their way and will wait until the public’s attention is diverted. ]

    A bit of research and analysis shows that this shift in focus from inspection to traceability has other consequences as well as the financial burden on farmers. Some are relatively easy to predict, other consequences, though, are hidden, and will only emerge in the course of implementation.

    Cutback in Testing
    The USDA has cut back on disease testing by up to 90%. and has shifted what testing is done to dead animals at slaughter instead of testing live animals at the farm. This allows a disease years to be passed from one farm to another before the animal is finally sent to slaughter.

    The USDA is also closing down testing labs. “USDA is moving toward supporting fewer labs nationwide, with the remaining labs serving as regional labs and supporting larger geographic areas..” SOURCE: (wwwDOT)

    “Cattle crossing facilities on the U.S. side of the border are operated primarily by private firms… at Santa Teresa, NM, Chihuahuan [Mexican] cattle producers operate both sides of the cattle port-of-entry” (wwwDOT)

    “Free trade makes it easier for Mexico to sell us cattle,” Mr. Suppan said. “Mexico does not have in place the infrastructure to eradicate tuberculosis.”…Bovine tuberculosis is fast becoming an important reason that carcasses are being condemned as unsafe in American beef packing plants. The number of carcasses found infected is 15 times higher than in 1986. Dr. Billy Johnson, said about 80 percent of the condemned carcasses were traced back to animals raised in Mexico.” query(DOT)

    To make matters worse the USA exports 700,000 tons of quality beef while importing 1,500,000 tons from countries with: Naegleria fowler, Encephalitis, vesicular stomatitis viruses, Leptospirosis, Trypanosomiasis (Chagas disease), and foot and mouth disease. The US imports 2.5 million live cattle from Canada with BSE (now found in USA) and from Mexico with tuberculosis (now found in USA), brucellosis (now found in USA) cattle tick fever, (now found in USA) Trypanosoma cruz,, (now found in USA), Bluetongue (now found in USA), and Vesicular stomatitis.
    “ disease challenges are emerging. Some are domestic diseases that are increasing in significance. Others are foreign diseases that may be imported as result of the exponential increases in international importations of animals and animal products. Our industries and our economy are threatened by diseases and pests that heretofore we only read about in disease text books…” (wwwDOT)

    Transfer of Corporate Liability
    Wisconsin was the first state to make NAIS mandatory. The corporate response is quite interesting. Family farmers have feared that: “One of the big goals of NAIS is to shift liability to the farmers and off of the packers and retail chains. This is despite the fact that virtually all food contamination happens at the slaughterhouse and beyond.” nonais(DOT)org/2008/07/08/transferring-liability/

    Paul-Martin:Griepentrog on September 3, 2008 reported that this was indeed the case. He attended “quality assurance training required for Badger Vac 45.” And reported “You [the farmer] will be required to cover ALL expenses in the event of contamination…The bottom line is that after 10 years [note the date] of below normal prices here in Wis because the state allowed Equity Livestock Coop to create a monopoly, our savior has now arrived to burden us with contracts shifting all liability to feeder cattle producers if they can’t prove they are innocent. “ nonais(DOT)org/2008/09/01/bulletin-board-200809/#comment-1395096

    Hidden Consequences
    The first consequence is the mass exit of millions of Americans from animal ownership and later vegetable gardening and crop farming as FDA follows the USDA’s lead. Between Animal ID tagging, tracking, fines, jail terms, massive paperwork and the shift in liability no one in their right mind will grow food in the USA. Locavores, like me, will become extinct.

    What is the financial impact? In my state all farms except for 171 are family held (2002 Ag Census). That is 53759 NC family farms with $3,145,202,000 spent on supplies and $617,679,000 spent on labor. A total of $3,762,881,000 added to the states economy. Then add 56,000 NC horses with a Total Economic Impact: of over 704 million and you get 4.5 BILLION. A real healthy chunk of change. Do the politicians want the newspapers to know they plan to kill 4.5 BILLION dollars worth of business in just one state?
    [Unfortunately Senator Burr R-NC didn’t give a rat’s behind and co-sponsered the Food Safety Modernization Act bill]

    Diverting focus from disease
    Because the high fines promise to pour money into the USDA and FDA coffers, inspector time will be diverted from disease surveillance to hunting for paperwork violations and tracking infractions.

    Results from a study on how asset forfeiture effects drug enforcement revealed a concentration on seizing real property with a high value. In addition, real property seizures are preplanned and commonly made under the controversial facilitation statute. “Efficiency is measured by the amount of money seized rather than impact on drug trafficking.” The Study described forfeiture as a “dysfunctional policy” that forces law enforcement agencies to “subordinate justice to profit.” SOURCE: Drug Enforcement’s Double Edged Sword: An Assessment of Asset Forfeiture Programs Source: Justice Quarterly, Volume 11,.Number 2, June 1994

    Do we want the USDA and FDA to focus on profit instead of food safety? — Congress Answered YES! to this question unfortunately.

    Consumer illness will become the primary “disease prevention tool”
    The public will become the major “testing ground” for disease as lab testing is minimized in favor of “Traceability” “Risk Assessment” and a management system from ISO/OIE called “Good Farming Practices”. Instead of catching food safety problems BEFORE they get to the consumer, the new focus is to track back the problem AFTER it has sickened and killed consumers. Transnational corporations will try to transfer liability to the farmer so they do not lose their reputations or have to pay for lawsuits. There is even a conference scheduled in 2009 addressing how to pass the blame to farmers.

    Conference to address food-borne illness litigation
    “The conference will cover topics such as aligning damage assessments/expectations with the outcomes from recent resolved litigation; managing an outbreak effectively to minimize shareholder and reputational risk afterwards as quickly as possible; and how to measure and prove actual control of various players in the movement of contaminated food to accurately assess apportionment of liability.” In short, how to pass ALL the liability on to farmers via traceability.

    Risk Assessment
    (Note my investigation into how the USDA/FDA/customs handled BSE shows that bad government practices were the reason it was allowed into the country via bone meal from the UK even AFTER this was found to be a source. Bone meal is used in animal feed and is a source of infection.)

    “There is a small chance that mad cow disease.. (BSE), is already in this country, according to a risk assessment released today by Harvard University. The risk assessment concluded that even if BSE had entered this country, it wouldn’t become a major public health problem, although human illnesses could occur” — Harvard Risk Assessment 12/3/2001

    This is the “scientific basis” behind the USDA ban on 100% BSE testing at Creekstone Farms and mandating “less than 1 percent [40000 per year] of slaughtered cattle to be tested for BSE. The agency contends that more comprehensive testing doesn’t guarantee food safety and may produce a false positive that alarms consumers.” — SOURCE: (wwwDOT)
    ALL that is needed is re-testing by a government lab as is the protocol for drug testing!!! SHEEEESH! The real reason? If you do not test you will not find the disease therefore your failure to protect US cattle will not be visible to the public.

    With tainted food in foreign imports, why is the USDA and FDA spending so much time and resources fixing a problem that does not exist while ignoring the flood of imports coming across our borders?

    Liked by 1 person

    • kp3ace says:

      Now I understand why some of the folks in Colorado told me that they would just shoot the cow and quietly bury it. Most of them didn’t believe that it was mad cow disease. Just didn’t need the hassle and financial loss.


  14. G. Combs says:

    One last concept from my notes, Strategic Grain Reserves.

    L. A Times 2012 Want Food Security? Bring Back a National Grain Reserve The USDA grain silos are now gone literally according to people in the Midwest.

    In 2008 there was a food crisis. How Goldman Sachs Created the Food Crisis The USDA announced “The cupboard is bare” as the last of US food reserves were used up. Thanks to Billy Clinton, the FDR era strategic food storage was done away with and a ‘Free Market’ implemented resulting in the bankrupting of small farmers (as planned.)
    SEE: Freedom to farm bill 1996: Congressional Record – 106th Congress (199-2000) (IF you can now find it. Seems even the Wayback has removed it. — h t t p : / / thomas(DOT) )

    From that lost Congressional record:

    […] The bill has made sweeping changes in agriculture–it has produced one of the worst economic crises that rural American has ever experienced. Thanks to the Freedom to Farm, or as I call it the Freedom to Fail Act, tens of thousands of farm families are in jeopardy of losing their livelihoods and life savings.

    The Freedom to Farm bill is not saving tax payers money, in fact we have spent $19 billion more in the first 4 years of the 1996 farm bill than was supposed to be spent through the 7 year life of the law.

    However, what has resulted is the precipitous loss of family farmers because this legislation has not provided small and moderate sized farmers with a safety net. Instead payment loopholes have been inserted in legislation that has allowed the largest argibusiness corporations to receive the lions share of government support.

    In my State of Minnesota, family farm income has decreased 43 percent since 1996 and more than 25 percent of the remaining farms may not cover expenses for 2000. […]

    This was not surprising but calculated. The IMF/World Bank “Structured Adjustment programs” removed nation support systems for third world farmers and drove them into bankruptcy. Countries were blackmailed into producing agricultural goods for export instead of food for local consumption. Transnational corporations dumping the subsidized US/EU grain, drove third world farmers into bankruptcy, then bought the land cheap to produce high price exports. Mexico, thanks to NAFTA lost 75% of her native farmers. The following quotes show the grain traders greed and the level of concern for other humans.

    “In summary, we have record low grain inventories globally as we move into a new crop year. We have demand growing strongly. Which means that going forward even small crop failures are going to drive grain prices to record levels. As an investor, we continue to find these long term trends…very attractive.” Food shortfalls predicted: 2008 (wwwDOT)

    The Grain Cartel even wrote a letter to President Bush:
    “Recently there have been increased calls for the development of a U.S. or international grain reserve to provide priority access to food supplies for Humanitarian needs. The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) and the North American Export Grain Association (NAEGA) strongly advise against this concept..Stock reserves have a documented depressing effect on prices… and resulted in less aggressive market bidding for the grains.” July 22, 2008 letter to President Bush (wwwDOT)

    The bottom line is that transnational corporations want to make the largest profit possible without regard for the consequences to the Unwashed Masses. Recent actions indicate they are moving behind the scenes to:
    * Vertically integrate the food chain
    * Get rid of competition via mergers, buyouts and regulations,
    * Make it impossible for new competition to arise via cost prohibited regulations
    * Transport goods across national borders without inspections thanks to free trade agreements
    * Transfer product liability (lawsuits) to others using unfair contracts
    * Have a captive market who has no option but to buy from them
    * Create a monopsony so sellers have only one buyer

    Do the transnationals views competition from independent farmers selling locally a threat? Yes!
    “With consumers increasingly demanding food that is safe, nutritious, and locally grown, the industry is sure to grow, say Penn State researchers, who believe that maximum growth will depend on collaboration among different parts of the industry from the grower through the processor and marketer to the consumer, and also involve institutions of higher learning to provide science-based innovations and an educated workforce. The university is responding to this need by developing a coalition to address strengths and weaknesses in the food industry.
    The project is being funded by a USDA grant.”

    Wal-Mart Supports Local Produce: Wal-Mart announced that it is increasing its partnerships with local growers and shining the spotlight on locally sourced fruits and vegetables available in its stores. (wwwDOT)

    The OIE is part of the United Nations and coordinates with the World Trade Organization on matters pertaining to livestock.

    Dr Thornsberry a veterinarian who chairs R-CALF USA’s animal health committee in one paragraph summed up the whole problem with Animal (& veggie) ID.

    “Horse owners should know why the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) is being forced on their industry. The U.S. signed a World Trade Organization (WTO) treaty and is now submitting to global rules on animal trade established by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

    The OIE wants the U.S. to accept imports from countries where animal disease problems persist.

    For example, while the U.S. eradicated Equine Piroplasmosis – a tick-borne protozoal infection, the OIE wants the U.S. to accept imports from countries that have not eradicated this disease. With NAIS, horse movements could be traced from birth to death, thus eliminating the need to disallow high-risk imports because, according to the OIE, the U.S. could manage contagious diseases within its borders. SOURCE: (wwwDOT)…&%20The%20Equine%20Owner,%20Op-Ed%20by%20Dr%20Thornsberry%20-%20Handout.pdf

    So that in a nutshell is what we were actually fighting.
    These Son of Syphilitic Camels want us to tag our CHICKENS so they can bring in animals from who knows where with who knows what diseases and the fact we can “Trace” the animal back to its farm is supposed convince us that the USDA is “Protecting us” !!!

    Liked by 2 people

  15. G. Combs says:

    I hope my long winded explanations of what has been happening in to our food supply in the last decades adds a bit of background to what Sundance is saying.

    I probably have a hundred pages of notes and they are all pretty sickening when you realize just how much contempt our Congress Offals have for ‘Main Street’ — To allow the DELIBERATE poisoning of children in YOUR OWN COUNTRY for PROFIT is sick! And make no mistake thanks to John Munsell and Stanley Painter, Chairman of the National Food Inspection Unions, we KNOW that Congress knew and deliberately did nothing. Actually WORSE they hid the information because they WANTED sick and dead children as an excuse to regulate farms and turn that control over to the WTO, and the UN. (Stanley Painter’s testimony and evidence was later discounted by the USDA BTW.)

    My blood pressure goes through the roof when ever I think of this and my COLD ANGER towards Senator Burrs turns RED HOT!

    Liked by 4 people

    • domain496 says:

      G. Combs, Thank you for your self-stated “long winded” posts. Very enlightening and offers a valuable and real perspective from which to observe the past and current events. These events had a personal impact in my life also, albeit much smaller. Much better understanding of what happened was provided by your posts. Thank you again.


    • Patriot Lady says:

      And here I thought that the 1998 novel, ‘Toxin’ by Dr. Robin Cook was fiction.


  16. Wayne Robinson says:

    Remember McCain and these other two shits and give money and time to see them defeated next time / I will

    Liked by 2 people

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