Posts tagged health

Bureaucratic Rationality #7: the Louisiana State Health Department vs. Health and Adequate Nutrition in Louisiana

From occupied Louisiana, here’s how a state Health Department is forcing homeless shelters to destroy demonstrably safe and healthy meat because even though they accept the safety record of the slaughterhouse that processed it, they don’t recognize the organization that donated it, and, even though venison is something that humans have subsisted on since before recorded history, it’s not an approved meat source to be distributed commercially.

SHREVEPORT, La. (CBS Houston) — Louisiana’s State Health Department forced a homeless shelter to destroy $8,000 worth of deer meat because it was donated from a hunter organization.

KTBS-TV reports that the Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission lost 1,600 pounds of venison because the state’s Health Department doesn’t recognize Hunters for the Hungry, an organization that allows hunters to donate any extra game to charity.

We didn’t find anything wrong with it, Rev. Henry Martin told KTBS. It was processed correctly, it was packaged correctly.

The trouble began last month after the Department of Health and Hospitals received a complaint that deer meat was being served at the homeless shelter. A health inspector went out and told the homeless shelter that deer meat was not allowed to be served and that is had to be destroyed.

Although the meat was processed at a slaughterhouse (Bellevue) that is permitted by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture to prepare and commercially distribute meat obtained from approved farms, deer are not an approved meat source to be distributed commercially, the department said on its Facebook page. And because hunters brought the deer to the slaughterhouse, there is no way to verify how the deer were killed, prepared or stored.

So, therefore:

Martin says that bleach had to be poured onto the meat in order to destroy it.

They threw it in the dumpster and poured Clorox on it, Martin told KTBS. Not only are we losing out and it’s costing us money, the people that are hungry aren’t going to get as quality of food, the hunter that’s given his meat in good faith is losing out.

While we applaud the good intentions of the hunters who donated this meat, we must protect the people who eat at Rescue Mission, and we cannot allow a potentially serious health threat to endanger the public, the Health Department stated.

— CBS Houston (25 February 2013), Louisiana Forces Homeless Shelter to Destroy $8,000 Worth of Deer Meat

Here, as everywhere, the Licensing State operates on the fundamental assumption that anything it doesn’t know about, must be a potentially serious health threat, and the only way that it can know about anything is by checking whether or not the source has the right paper license, issued according to the state’s unilaterally dictated procedures. It doesn’t matter that literally nobody has been hurt and many people in desperate circumstances have been helped; it doesn’t matter you can show them there isn’t anything wrong with the meat; all that matters is that you can’t show them your papers. And so, rather than asking to just test some of the meat, or accepting the results of the health and safety tests that were already performed at the slaughterhouse, they sadistically insist that the food must be thrown away and rendered inedible with bleach, at tremendous expense and to the known detriment of the shelter and the health and nutrition of the homeless people who depend on it, so that they can ensure that the right forms are filled out and only officially licensed meat is served in the state of Louisiana. This sado-statist compliance hold on desperately-needed food, which insists on bureaucratic procedure and approving legal recognition at the expense of demonstrable safety, is dignified as protecting the people who eat at Rescue Mission from the food that they need to get by.

Bureaucratic rationality, n. The haunting fear that someone, somewhere, may have something good in their life without your authorization.

See also.

Wednesday Lazy Linking

<li><p><a href="">I can’t count on anybody to understand.  (Blogging Against Disablism Day 2010) amandaw, <cite>three rivers fog</cite> (2010-05-01)</a>. <q>(Cross-posted to FWD/Forward. See more BADD 2010 at Goldfish’s blog.) I’m pretty open about my health issues. To be honest, I don’t know any other way to be. I know how to strategically hide my disabilities from strangers in passing interactions, but from the people with whom I interact on...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Monday 2010-05-10.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="">Prison Rape. myglesias, <cite>Matthew Yglesias</cite> (2010-04-22)</a>. <q>(cc photo by amandabhslater) Excellent post by Liliana Segura: In 1994 in the case Farmer v. Brennan, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a prison official’s “deliberate indifference” to the risk that a trans woman prisoner named Dee Farmer would be raped when placed within the general population of a...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Monday 2010-05-10.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="">Welcome: Japan Council Against A&amp;H Bombs. mom_in_las_vegas, <cite>Las Vegas Anarchoblogs</cite> (2010-05-07)</a>. <q> Welcome: Japan Council Against A&amp;H Bombs;t=1273035600The Japan Council against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs (Gensuikyo) was established in September 1955. Since then it has waged various kinds of campaigns for: the prevention of nuclear war; the total ban on and the elimination of nuclear weapons; and support and solidarity with Hibakusha...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Monday 2010-05-10.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="">It&#39;s just like the time I got confused and accidentally went on an interstate bank-robbing spree. John Markley, <cite>The Superfluous Man</cite> (2010-05-03)</a>. <q>You know, the frequent attempts I see to excuse flagrant police misbehavior as honest mistakes are seldom very convincing, but at least the excuse is usually applied to acts committed in the field. It's still usually a weak and often absurd excuse, and often applied to situations where the officer's...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Tuesday 2010-05-11.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="">A Statement from SubRosa concerning May Day. JC, <cite>SubRosa - a community space</cite> (2010-05-06)</a>. <q>SubRosa was not involved in the events in downtown Santa Cruz on May Day. SubRosa is a community space that offers literature, art, coffee and performances. Like many businesses downtown, SubRosa provides a public bulletin board for people to post fliers. Jimi Haynes is not and has never been a volunteer...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Tuesday 2010-05-11.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="">NYT: ‘Attorney General Eric Holder Backs Miranda Limit for Terror Suspects’ John Gruber, <cite>Daring Fireball</cite> (2010-05-10)</a>. <q>Disregard for the Bill of Rights is not limited to Republicans: Mr. Holder proposed carving out a broad new exception to the Miranda rights established in a landmark 1966 Supreme Court ruling. It generally forbids prosecutors from using as evidence statements made before suspects have been warned that they have...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Tuesday 2010-05-11.)</em></p></li>
<li><p><a href="">Theories as Maps. Will Wilkinson, <cite>Will Wilkinson</cite> (2010-05-11)</a>. <q>David Schmidtz says theories are like maps; they help us get where we’re trying to go. John Rawls’ theory of justice posits a closed society as a simplifying assumption. If theories are like maps, as Schmidtz says, a simplifying assumption in a theory is like leaving current patterns of traffic...</q> <em style="font-size: smaller">(Linked Wednesday 2010-05-12.)</em></p></li>