Mad About Cows


MAD ABOUT COWS….Four years ago I first reported about the travails of Creekstone Farms, a Kansas beef producer that wanted to initiate 100% testing of its cattle for mad cow disease so that it could sell into the Japanese market. It was the free market at work: a plucky little company taking advantage of emerging technology to maintain its share in a foreign market and help improve our trade deficit. Just the kind of thing George Bush talks about all the time.

Except that George Bush wouldn’t let them do it. Might upset the big producers, you see, who were afraid consumer pressure might force them to eventually perform 100% testing too. Today, via Dean Baker, I see that the DC Circuit Court has finally ruled in the Bush administration’s favor. America’s meat processing industry — which, coincidentally I’m sure, favors the GOP in its campaign contributions by more than 3:1 over Democrats — can breathe a sigh of relief.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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