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Tue, Dec. 9th, 2008, 12:10 am

I have had a productive day of cancelling services, harassing people and discovering that my broadband service is now "unlimited" (for various values of unlimited) and now I will make it complete by delivering KNOWLEDGE.

It would appear that some time back in August some genius or other involved in animal feed manufacture woke up, took a steaming hot mug of stupid along with his toast, went to work and used machine grade oil when mixing up a batch of feed. Said feed was delivered to a bunch of farms where it was dutifully eaten by a bunch of pigs. Said pigs were duly slaughtered, mashed up, boiled, chopped to pieces and otherwise turned into meat. The pigs that ate this feed comprised roughly 10% of all pigs slaughtered over the last couple of months as the contaminated batches of feed kept going into the food system. That meat eventually got mixed into roughly 80% of the overall meat supply in Ireland for domestic consumption and export.

The problem is that the machine grade oil contains dioxins, which are not exactly friendly to human beings (or anything else made of meat really), as a result, all meat produced since September first has been recalled for destruction. Of course, a lot of people have eaten a lot of pork since september first and this has caused a mass outbreak of fucking stupidity. By law in Ireland (and I assume elsewhere) dioxins are banned in feed as they are a persistent substance that doesn't get broken down in the body like a lot of other poisons and has a horrible tendency to carry on unhindered until the end of the food chain where they like to sit and cause problems until they're crapped out. So one might be forgiven for being a bit annoyed that they're being poisioned by their food and even more annoyed that we're all going to die. Unfortunately this isn't the case and the majority of the irish population is going to live to be fucking idiots another day (this entire case reminds me of the far more serious incident about twenty years ago when a bunch of geniuses used a highly toxic and persistent pesticide on batches of cucumbers which permeated the entire cell structure of the vegetable and yet somehow we decided that peeling them would solve the problem).

You see, even though 80% of the meat supply is thought to be "contaminated" the actual amounts of meat containing trace levels of dioxins is 10%. Of this 10% of the contaminated meat, the amount of dioxins in it is negligible, well under the maximum safe levels for human exposure, and those maximum safe levels are WAY less than the amounts that could concievably cause illness, less than half. So if you eat a contaminated sausage, you're getting about 10% contaminated meat on average, which contains maybe 10% of a dose that could be considered dangerous, which you would have to be exposed to for several days before the exposure became dangerous. So in order to actually stand any chance of being harmed by the contaminated meat you'd need to eat something like a hundred sausages per day for a few days. You would need to literally GORGE yourself on pork before this became a problem.

The meat is being recalled because it is illegal to have dioxins in the food supply and they're being safe about it. Not because of any meaningful risk to public health or safety and if you're the kind of person who can eat enough of that pork to cause a dioxin based health risk then you've got bigger problems. That you're exposed to dioxins on a daily basis every time you get near traffic, or someone who is smoking, or near a factory or hell, even drink some of the water around here does not seem to factor into the thinking.

Of course, this hasn't stopped people from getting on the news to talk shit but I think its been a slow news day otherwise.

Tue, Dec. 9th, 2008 01:52 pm (UTC)

Ya see, for some reason only known to themselves I think FF has decided it doesn't want to exist anymore...

Tue, Dec. 9th, 2008 07:21 pm (UTC)

Keep in mind that Ireland relies quite a bit on it's agricultural produce as part of the economy and as exports, so if some foreign researcher works out that there are higher levels of dioxins in Irish pork, then it would mean a complete shitstorm for Irish food exports, which equals a problem for Ireland during the recession when one of our recession-proof industries takes a kick to the teeth with at steel-toed Doc Marten and a walloping from Irish agricultural lobby groups to Fianna Fail. So something Has To Be Done.

Besides, the enthusiasm and severeness they are dealing with this problem must surely be due to a repression of enthusiasm and severeness in dealing with the other things the government was supposed to fix, like the ganglander problem in Dublin and Limerick, the overall drug problem in Ireland, the crap state of the national roads, the bloated HSE, the fact that Dublin has turned into a sprawling mass and is consuming the rest of the country and the problem of Ireland becoming more and more Americanised as our national identity is largely based on a poor spud farmer who's always beaten down by the Cathloic church and waiting to move to England or the US where all the money really is. Like I said, they have to do something

Wed, Dec. 10th, 2008 01:10 am (UTC)

Ireland seems to have fetishised the food race to the bottom that seems to have infected the world of food around the world. Ironically I've been reading End of Food recently.