Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Only Thing 'Bizzare' Is Grist

Leave it to Grist, a rather left-leaning online environmental/"sustainable" agriculture magazine, to describe as "bizarre" the near-unanimous opposition from members of the House Agriculture livestock subcommittee to the USDA proposed rule on the buying and selling of livestock and poultry. (See yesterday's post about that opposition.)

Article author Tom Laskawy, who like other Grist writers opposes anything big, says the USDA rule is "simple" and would be effective. He says it "mostly consists of requirements to use standard definitions in contracts."

In fact, the proposed rule would dictate the terms of contracts, restrict the pricing of animals and limit producers’ marketing options. No wonder livestock subcommittee Democrats and Republicans admonished USDA for writing a rule that goes well beyond what Congress asked it to do. But in Grist's world, congressional oversight apparently is "bizarre."

By the way -- and for us conspiracy theorists -- Grist's founder has ties to the Tides Foundation, which has given funds to, among other organizations, Earthjustice, PETA, Union of Concerned Scientists, Waterkeeper Alliance and the Ruckus Society, described as a group of environmental anarchists.

The pork industry and modern agriculture production are favorite targets of Grist, which seems to play a little loose with the truth. The publication continues to maintain, for example, that the H1N1 flu, which it insists on calling swine flu, came from a hog farm in Mexico even though U.S. and international health experts ruled that out.

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