U.S. Partners With Mexico To Preserve Food Stamps For Immigrants

U.S. Partners With Mexico To Preserve Food Stamps For ImmigrantsSalmonella outbreaks. E. coli outbreaks. Millions of dollars in economic losses. These are among the scenarios the Obama administration warned about last month as it claimed the sequester would force the U.S. Department of Agriculture to furlough meat inspectors.

‘Raise awareness about food stamps’

But while the administration prepares to take that step, it continues to pursue a “partnership” with the Mexican government to “raise awareness” about food stamps among immigrants from that country. When a top Senate Republican proposed cutting off funds for that program last week — in the form of an amendment to a budget resolution — Democrats on the Budget Committee shot it down.

It’s hard to put a firm price on the cost of the partnership, which was launched under the George W. Bush administration. But an aide to Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who has railed against the partnership for months, said it could easily be in the millions.


‘Noncitizen immigrants from Mexico’

According to a letter from Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to Sessions last September, the “partnership” since 2004 has included roughly 91 meetings between U.S. and Mexico embassy and consulate staff; 29 health fair events; and 31 roundtable discussions, conferences and forums in 20 cities.  Twenty percent of the meetings and activities occurred since 2008, according to Vilsack’s letter. Sessions is concerned the collaboration amounts to a vehicle for the USDA to pressure people onto the food-stamp rolls — in this case, noncitizen immigrants from Mexico.

The USDA denies this. However, Vilsack’s letter indicates the number of legal, noncitizens participating in the program — now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — has increased from 425,000 to 1.23 million between 2001 and 2010.

What is your insight regarding the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program? Should the government put an end to it?

Source: Fox News

Image: Weasel Zippers

‘Pink Slime’ Will Now Be Included in School Lunch Choices

ABC News has the learned that on Thursday the U.S. Department of Agriculture will announce that starting this fall, schools will be able to choose whether or not they buy hamburger that contains lean finely textured beef known as “pink slime.”

“It kind of looks like play dough,” said Kit Foshee, who, until 2001, was a corporate quality assurance manager at Beef Products Inc., the company that makes “pink slime.” “It’s pink and frozen, it’s not what the typical person would consider meat.”


J. Patrick Boyle, president of the American Meat Institute, defended the practice as a way to safely use what otherwise would be wasted: “BLBT (Boneless Lean Beef Trimmings) is a sustainable product because it recovers lean meat that would otherwise be wasted,” he said in a statement.

However, the substance, critics said, is more like gelatin than meat, and before BPI found a way to use it by disinfecting the trimmings with ammonia, it was sold only to dog food or cooking oil suppliers. But Boyle said, “The beef trimmings that are used to make BLBT are absolutely edible” and Janet Riley, senior vice president of public affairs for AMI, said there was no reason to label beef that contains “pink slime.”

The low-grade trimmings come from the parts of the cow most susceptible to contamination, often close to the hide, which is highly exposed to fecal matter. But because the treatment of the trimmings – simmering them in low heat, separating fat and tissue using a centrifuge and spraying them with ammonia gas to kill germs – the United States Department of Agriculture says it’s safe to eat.

Source: Yahoo News

Image: MPR News