Politicians make a lot of promises when they are trying to get elected. So many they probably can't keep track of them of them. That's understandable. Believing candidates is one of the 'sweet little lies' we tell ourselves.(1)

President Obama, who promised to 'restore science to its rightful place' before doing nothing for stem cells or antibiotics in beef and has been overtly anti-science regarding the EPA, vaccines and editing science reports to suit his agenda is not being let off the hook by one group;  the Safe Food Coalition is letting Obama know they did not forget his promise to put special labels on...tenderized meat? Does he remember making such a promise? Did he even do that? No, but a bureaucrat way down the food chain said it was a good idea and therefore Obama must be held personally responsible, it seems.

Anti-science hippies being afraid of GMOs I can sort of understand - it's science, and that scares anti-science people who are convinced no genetic modification existed until George W. Bush became President in January 2001 and opened the floodgates for biology. Now we will have legions of demon corn mutant armies running around unless magic soap and homeopathy quacks can protect us all.

Illegal PIONEER Genetic Corn-Maize Field in Germany with GREENPEACE Activists
Here is a Greenpeace soldier capturing part of the Demon Corn hordes created by evil scientists. Credit and link: Dan Volgelsong on Flickr.

But tenderized meat?  No wonder Obama is ignoring them during an election year.  Sure, they may withhold their five votes if he doesn't add yet another law critics will jump on, but they are sure not voting for Romney so he has a lot to lose and nothing to gain.

Tenderizing meat is decidedly unnatural, which is enough for natural food types to be concerned.  Uncaring machines repeatedly insert small needles or even blades into lower quality cuts of meat to make them better for poor people who can't afford filet mignon.  The Organic 1% can afford prime cuts but they care about we plebians and are concerned tenderized meat leads to greater illness risk.  Sure, we have had domesticated livestock for 10,000 years but somehow meat is so much worse today because of no tenderized meat labels. I guess these people never read "The Jungle".

"Without a label to identify mechanically treated meat products, along with information to help mitigate the risk, the unsuspecting purchasers of these products - whether they are restaurant cooks or consumers - will have no idea that the product that they have selected needs additional protective handling and preparation," says a Safe Food Coalition letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, linked to by Gretchen Goetz at Food Safety News.

According to Kansas State University research, Goetz notes, as much as 3-4 percent of E. coli bacteria can be carried from the surface of contaminated meat to the inside of the beef product because of tenderizing. Which means an even greater chance for organic beef, since it has no quality control at all.  Have there been any actual illnesses shown to result just from tenderized meat?  No, why do you ask?  Do you hate children?

The reason we need a warning label, they say, is we are too stupid to cook and they contend tenderized steaks need an internal temperature of about 15 degrees difference.  Now, be honest; how many of you actually use a thermometer when you grill a steak?

Big Meat is, of course, resistant to new labels because all they do is sit in their corporation buildings and be all corporation-y and make money not putting warning labels on tenderized meat.  "Because blade-tenderized steaks have been found to be comparable in safety, we don't believe that special labeling declaring the mechanical tenderization process will provide meaningful or actionable information to consumers," said the American Meat Institute in 2009. Sure, it's all about profits.

What say you?  Should President Obama call up OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs and get this pushed through before the polls close?  


(1) Bruce Campbell, the second most famous Campbell among the Science 2.0 audience, put it succinctly in "Army of Darkness" but since the only clip I could find was MetaCafe and their embed pile is a legendary pile of non-functioning rubbish, a quote will have to do:

"That was just what we call pillow talk, baby..."