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Fatter Turkeys, Fatter Profits, Sicker People
It’s the most wonderful time of the year … for Butterball, the largest producer of holiday turkeys in the U.S. It’s also Butterball’s most profitable time of the year.
But this year, could it be that the largest purveyor of antibiotic-fed turkeys is sensing a threat? From the growing sales of organic, antibiotic-free turkeys?
This week, Butterball announced a shortage of turkeys. Food writer Tom Philpott suggests a number of possible explanations [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_28776.cfm ] for the very public statement, including the one [ http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/11/18/everybody-panic-butterball-says-theres-a-turkey-shortage-just-in-time-for-thanksgiving/ ] also posited by Time Magazine’s Laura Stampler, that the “great big turkey shortfall of Thanksgiving ‘13 is a ‘marketing ploy to build turkey hype.’”
Hype or no hype, here’s what really matters. Butterball routinely feeds antibiotics to its turkeys. So the birds will grow bigger, faster. Right along with Butterball’s profits. Scientists say this indiscriminate use of antibiotics in turkey feed is producing antibiotic-resistant bugs. And those bugs are turning up [http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_28777.cfm ] in turkey meat. Worse yet, the over-use of antibiotics is making humans resistant [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25830.cfm ] to antibiotics. Which means they won’t work when we really need them.
You don’t buy Butterball turkeys. Because of the antibiotics. And because the birds are raised in deplorable conditions. But millions of people still do. So let’s tell CEO Rod Brenneman to get the antibiotics out of Butterball turkeys. Because, frankly, they’re making us sick.
More on antibiotic resistance [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_28782.cfm ]
TAKE ACTION: Tell CEO Rod Brenneman to Get Antibiotics Out of Butterball Turkeys! [https://www.causes.com/campaigns/67496-keep-unnecessary-antibiotics-out-of-my-holiday-turkey ]
Occupy Wall Street activists buy $15m of Americans’ personal debt
November 12, 2013, The Guardian (One of the UK’s leading newspapers)
A group of Occupy Wall Street activists has bought almost $15m of Americans’ personal debt over the last year as part of the Rolling Jubilee project to help people pay off their outstanding credit. Rolling Jubilee, set up by Occupy’s Strike Debt group following the street protests that swept the world in 2011, launched on 15 November 2012. The group purchases personal debt cheaply from banks before “abolishing” it, freeing individuals from their bills. By purchasing the debt at knockdown prices the group has managed to free $14,734,569.87 of personal debt, mainly medical debt, spending only $400,000. ”We thought that the ratio would be about 20 to 1,” said Andrew Ross, a member of Strike Debt and professor of social and cultural analysis at New York University. “In fact we’ve been able to buy debt a lot more cheaply than that.” The Rolling Jubilee project was mostly conceived as a “public education project”, Ross said. “Our purpose in doing this, aside from helping some people along the way – there’s certainly many, many people who are very thankful that their debts are abolished – our primary purpose was to spread information about the workings of this secondary debt market.” The group has … acquired the $14.7m in three separate purchases, most recently purchasing the value of $13.5m on medical debt owed by 2,693 people across 45 states and Puerto Rico, Rolling Jubilee said in a press release. “No one should have to go into debt or bankruptcy because they get sick,” said Laura Hanna, an organiser with the group. Hanna said 62% of all personal bankruptcies have medical debt as a contributing factor.
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“In these times of secrecy and abuse of power there is only one solution—transparency,” wrote Sarah Harrison, the British journalist who accompanied Snowden to Russia and who also has gone into exile, in Berlin. “If our governments are so compromised that they will not tell us the truth, then we must step forward to grasp it. Provided with the unequivocal proof of primary source documents people can fight back. If our governments will not give this information to us, then we must take it for ourselves.”
“When whistleblowers come forward we need to fight for them, so others will be encouraged,” she went on. “When they are gagged, we must be their voice. When they are hunted, we must be their shield. When they are locked away, we must free them. Giving us the truth is not a crime. This is our data, our information, our history. We must fight to own it. Courage is contagious.”