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Hurricane aid rations may be burned...

Katrina Post-Katrina aid

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#1 Zwolf

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 09:06 AM

It's been nearly a month and the government agencies still don't have their act together.   This is a frickin' shame.

Quote

HUNDREDS of tons of British food aid shipped to America for starving Hurricane Katrina survivors is to be burned.

US red tape is stopping it from reaching hungry evacuees.

Instead tons of the badly needed Nato ration packs, the same as those eaten by British troops in Iraq, has been condemned as unfit for human consumption.

And unless the bureaucratic mess is cleared up soon it could be sent for incineration.


One British aid worker last night called the move "sickening senselessness" and said furious colleagues were "spitting blood".


The food, which cost British taxpayers millions, is sitting idle in a huge warehouse after the Food and Drug Agency recalled it when it had already left to be distributed.


Scores of lorries headed back to a warehouse in Little Rock, Arkansas, to dump it at an FDA incineration plant.


The Ministry of Defence in London said last night that 400,000 operational ration packs had been shipped to the US.


But officials blamed the US Department of Agriculture, which impounded the shipment under regulations relating to the import and export of meat.


The aid worker, who would not be named, said: "This is the most appalling act of sickening senselessness while people starve.


"The FDA has recalled aid from Britain because it has been condemned as unfit for human consumption, despite the fact that these are Nato approved rations of exactly the same type fed to British soldiers in Iraq.


"Under Nato, American soldiers are also entitled to eat such rations, yet the starving of the American South will see them go up in smoke because of FDA red tape madness."




The worker added: "There will be a cloud of smoke above Little Rock soon - of burned food, of anger and of shame that the world's richest nation couldn't organise a p**s up in a brewery and lets Americans starve while they arrogantly observe petty regulations.


"Everyone is revolted by the chaotic shambles the US is making of this crisis. Guys from Unicef are walking around spitting blood.


"This is utter madness. People have worked their socks off to get food into the region.


"It is perfectly good Nato approved food of the type British servicemen have. Yet the FDA are saying that because there is a meat content and it has come from Britain it must be destroyed.


"If they are trying to argue there is a BSE reason then that is ludicrously out of date. There is more BSE in the States than there ever was in Britain and UK meat has been safe for years."


The Ministry of Defence said: "We understand there was a glitch and these packs have been impounded by the US Department of Agriculture under regulations relating to the import and export of meat.


"The situation is changing all the time and at our last meeting on Friday we were told progress was being made in relation to the release of these packs. The Americans certainly haven't indicated to us that there are any more problems and they haven't asked us to take them back."


Food from Spain and Italy is also being held because it fails to meet US standards and has been judged unfit for human consumption.


And Israeli relief agencies are furious that thousands of gallons of pear juice are to be destroyed because it has been judged unfit.


The FDA said: "We did inspect some MREs (meals ready to eat) on September 13. They are the only MREs we looked at. There were 70 huge pallets of vegetarian MREs.


"They were from a foreign nation. We inspected them and then released them for distribution."

****** This is nuts.  It's NATO-approved food.  We are part of NATO (a founding member, no less).  Yet, simultaneously, we're calling NATO-approved food "unfit for human consumption"?  

If it's unfit for human consumption, then British and American troops shouldn't be eating the stuff, either.  

If it is fit for the troops to eat, then it's fit for human consumption and there's no reason the evacuees can't be fed with it.

I hate it when we waste our own taxpayer dollars, but it's really ticking me off that we're wasting other countries' taxpayer dollars, too, especially when they were being generous and trying to help us out.

Cheers,

Zwolf
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#2 Nonny

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 09:14 AM

I have no words.  :eek2:  :(  :angry:  

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#3 Godeskian

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 09:16 AM

I haven't the words.

Next time a disaster like this happens, there had better not be any complaining from the US goverment about not getting aid, because if this is how they react, I imagine other goverments will think twice about sending help.

with any irony or jest or hyperbole, I find this absolutely unbelievable.

All I can do is apologise to the people of Lousiana and Missisippi. We tried to help.

Edited by Godeskian, 20 September 2005 - 09:19 AM.

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#4 WildChildCait

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 09:17 AM

?!?!?! What the bleeding heck are they thinking!|!|?!?!
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#5 Nonny

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 09:21 AM

Zwolf666, on Sep 20 2005, 06:06 AM, said:

I hate it when we waste our own taxpayer dollars, but it's really ticking me off that we're wasting other countries' taxpayer dollars, too, especially when they were being generous and trying to help us out.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Godeskian, on Sep 20 2005, 06:16 AM, said:

I haven't the words.

Next time a disaster like this happens, there had better not be any complaining from the US goverment about not getting aid, because if this is how they react, I imagine other goverments will think twice about sending help.

with any irony or jest or hyperbole, I find this absolutely unbelievable.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I have some now.  I am deeply ashamed of the government of my country for the latest incident of this gigantic clusterf*ck, and I am angry and mortified by the deep, abiding insult given those who tried to help us.  :(  

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#6 WildChildCait

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 09:23 AM

you know, i've seen the list of food inthose things..and with the exception of yorkie bars (which i refuse to eat due to their advertising) it's all good, edible food.
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#7 Nick

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 09:38 AM

It's been said that the bureacracy is the "fourth branch" of our government.  A bunch of insulated government workers doing not much except following ludicrous procedures, filing forms in triplicate, etc.

There's plenty of blame to go around--local, state, federal, etc.  But I really hope the bureacracy gets its clock cleaned majorly.  I have complaints about the President right down to the head of police in New Orleans--they all screwed yup, but at least they're attempting to be helpful now.  Let's toss out the Vogons.  If the food's out of date or "unfit for human consumption"--news flash: starvation and filthy water are worse.

:glare:

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#8 Zwolf

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 09:54 AM

I think it's probably some "mad cow" scare, but if NATO passed the food and we're a member, then I don't know why that'd be a problem.  NATO has operations all over the world, and if we say it's good enough for the rest of the world then it should be good enough for our own people.  I'm certain the evacuees would love to have it.

I don't know what the excuse would be for holding up the pear juice from Israel... "mad pear disease"?  It's ridiculous.

A way-too-cynical (probably to the point of craziness) part of me wonders if they're not holding back this food because the freebies would cut into some U.S. corporation's profit-making.  Less food from other countries, the more Haliburton gets to supply and charge our government for!  Hooray!   But, like I said, that's probably cynical craziness on my part.  (If only they wouldn't encourage me to think that way so much, though).

In any case, the American people do appreciate the kindness and generosity shown to us by our international friends.  It's just too bad the federal agencies are such a stumbling block between the people and those friends...

Cheers,

Zwolf
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#9 Corwin

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 09:55 AM

Hey!!!   We might be needing those rations here in Houston by the end of the week.....

Besides, I happen to like MRE's.  I wonder how lack of tasty the Brit rations are?  :)

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#10 Crazy 'Scaper

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 11:44 AM

For information, this is what is in the ration packs:

1 French onion soup; 2 Hot chocolate; 3 Savoury biscuits; 4 Milk chocolate; 5 Tissues; 6 Cooked rice; 7 Boiled sweets; 8 Fruit biscuits; 9 Chewing gum; 10 Chicken pate; 11 Orange drink powder; 12 Curried lamb; 13 Fruit dumplings in custard; 14 Bacon and beans; 15 Condiments; 16 Hot pepper sauce

#11 Corwin

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 11:55 AM

hhhhm... hot pepper sauce can make cardboard taste almost good.....

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#12 Lin731

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 11:56 AM

Any idea on exactly WHY the FDA has labeled this food "unfit for human consumption"? I'm really curious as to the reasoning (or lack there of) involved in this. I can't believe the level of stupidity this situation has sunk to though.
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#13 Corwin

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 12:04 PM

the article stated regulations concerning the importation of meat from certain countries because of BSE fears (mad cow disease).  However.... where in these meals is there any beef mentioned??  I see chicken, lamb... no beef.....  

So.. WTF???  Which moron inspector decided to screw this up and can't even read an ingredients label....

Corwin
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#14 GiGi

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 03:46 PM

Nonny, on Sep 20 2005, 07:21 AM, said:

I have some now.  I am deeply ashamed of the government of my country for the latest incident of this gigantic clusterf*ck, and I am angry and mortified by the deep, abiding insult given those who tried to help us.  :( 

Nonny

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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#15 Call Me Robin

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 03:55 PM

Chaddee, on Sep 20 2005, 02:17 PM, said:

?!?!?! What the bleeding heck are they thinking!|!|?!?!

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They aren't.  That's the problem.   :wacko:
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#16 Tom Sawyer

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 04:01 PM

So that's what all those trucks were about...

This is so senseless.  I've eaten Brit beef and I'm fine.
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#17 Spectacles

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 04:02 PM

The stories of insane, bureaucratic holdups of aid are absolutely maddening.

I saw last night on CNN a story about a Mississippi man who got tired of attempting to get hold of FEMA, so he went to Washington. The camera showed him shaking the hand of some smiling FEMA flunky who said, on camera, that help was "absolutely" on its way to this man and his community. The man graciously said that he thought they were "doing the best they can." Two weeks later, no FEMA. The man is now in the hospital recovering from a stroke possibly brought on by the stress and frustration.

It's important for us all to remember that this screw-up didn't end when the folks in New Orleans were finally evacuated from the Superdome and the Convention Center. It's an on-going, maddening thing--a Category 5 of its own.
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#18 nutmeg

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 04:20 PM

Some *person* within the FDA made this decision. This person answers to the head of the FDA. The head of the FDA answers to the person who appointed him or her. This was another political appointment, right? So, that makes it Mr Bush. So, if Brown can go bye-bye, then we need to demand that Mr. Bush fire the person making this decision (and the higher ups who had to sign off on it)! Enough with the political flunkys all ready!


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#19 Anastashia

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 05:04 PM

CoyoteUgly, on Sep 20 2005, 05:01 PM, said:

So that's what all those trucks were about...

This is so senseless.  I've eaten Brit beef and I'm fine.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Actually Coyote the trucks came to Maine to store the excess ice that FEMA ordered. So tax dollars are paying for cold storage in Portland. One driver went from Houston, to Selma, AL, to here. Over 1000 trucks with 750 more enroute. Someone from IAP World Services, supposedly coordinating the deliveries, is keeping local TV reporters from doing their job, A driver who spoke to one of the local stations would have had his contract cancelled and was threatened with never getting another government contract. The TV station opted not to air the interview.
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#20 Aurelius

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Posted 20 September 2005 - 06:21 PM

Y'know, I'm fully convinced of this; one day this planet is going to fall into the Sun due to the sheer weight of red tape and bureaucratic waffle that's produced on it.

Everything in those ration packs sounds perfectly fine. This is really showing how much a farce this whole situation is, a tragic, criminal farce.

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