I know it’s cool these days to call into question the agencies and people who keep us safe as we go about our daily lives what with President-elect Donald Trump deciding that a full dismissal of the U.S. intelligence community as less reliable than a lying liar who lies, Julian Assange, but the nonsense needs to stop. TheBlaze’s Trumpkin starlet, Tomi Lahren, is the latest to do so and gets it all wrong.
On Tuesday, she took it upon herself to indirectly accuse Congress, the Department of Agriculture and its subsidiaries: the FDA, and the Food Safety and Inspection Service of allowing “crap” meat into the United States’ food supply.
This is simply factually untrue.
I’m going to set aside Lahren’s main point that American rancher’s woes begin and end with Congress repealing the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) law in 2016 — a law that was more trouble than it was worth after a decade of court battles, WTO rulings and countries threatening retaliation because of the labeling — and move on to the fact that she accuses specifically Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Australia and Japan of sending us “crap.” Which, at the very least, makes no practical business sense whatsoever.
Some of the best grass fed beef in the world is raised in the countries she lists off. Hence, why they want to send it to America where they can fetch good prices. If they could get better prices for that same beef by selling it at home or to other countries (which they do) then they would. That’s how trade and economics work.
It also works in the American rancher’s favor when marketing their products.
Since the repeal of the COOL law, meat suppliers don’t have to label where the animal was born and raised, and that meat costs less. But just as with organic producers, being able to throw an “Organic” or “100% Born and Raised American Beef” sticker on your packaging means people historically will pay more for your product. That’s how marketing and most American consumers work.
Lahren talks about how farming and ranching is a gamble and has always been that way, and it’s true. Beef prices fluctuate just like every other commodity. But she seems to miss the fact that this is America and being a rancher is also a choice. You aren’t promised you’re going to have a great year every year in any career.
Then there’s the following portion where she indirectly accuses the U.S. agencies in charge of protecting our food supply and Americans from contaminated food, the USDA and FSIS, of allowing “foreign raised crap,” ostensibly that doesn’t meet the same standards as all other meat raised in the U.S., into the country. A truly ignorant charge.
Perhaps Ms. Lahren doesn’t know that there are fairly stringent guidelines and inspections that take place of practically every food item that is imported into the U.S.
Meat, poultry, and eggs imported into the U.S., in particular, have their own special list of acceptable countries of origin, followed up with documentation that would probably make Lahren’s eyes roll back in her head.
It’s not “foreign raised crap” that we’re importing when it comes to meat and eggs. These countries often have food standards that are higher than America’s, and at the very least must meet ours.
This also ties into the business aspect that ranchers and brokers from the U.S. and other countries would go through the hassle of knowingly shipping sub-standard meat to the U.S. only to have it rejected at the port of entry during inspection.
Lastly, I’ll end where Lahren starts and agree that nothing about the election of Donald Trump has anything to do with conservatism. As with any kind of trade at any level, there is always a balance of the upside with a downside. I truly do understand the plight of the small American farm — I’m writing this from one in rural Northwest Washington state — but the simplistic mindset that just because it’s foreign means it’s bad or hurting Americans, is just wrong.