Friday, February 22, 2008

'The Promotion of Olympism'

The International Sports Desk: London

The New York Times reports that the US Olympic Team will bring its own meat to the Beijing Games citing concerns over contamination--from both a food safety and drugs testing perspective. The recent Westland/Hallmark recall of 15.9 Million Kilograms as the benchmark of US meat safety not withstanding, the Olympic meat campaign brings to mind at least three points. The first is what are the logistics of hauling 25,000 pounds of meat across the ocean? Beyond just the meat, presumably different varieties of high quality organic, free range, grass fed, beer massaged, cruelty free flesh, there has to be vast air-born refrigerators, service staff, buyers, and quality standards administrators that have to ensure, amongst other things, that the meat did not originate in China. Which leads to point number 2: who's to say that US meat is any safer, especially after it is hauled across the Pacific? The Westland/Hallmark case provides some point. Within this massive beef recall, made up of primarily processed products sold to schools and prisons, is an order to recall the meat retroactively, meaning, according to a USDA guy that a vast majority of this meat has already been, so wouldn't the effects already be manifest and therefore the company should just take responsibility, or merely apologize for breaking a series of federal laws? Finally, my third point is that actually, I support the US Olympic team. Really, I do, and for a variety of reasons beyond blind patriotism. Now there can be no excuses for failed dope tests like, 'the Chinese put HGH, EPO and steroids in the hot dog I fed to the evil-twin who still lives inside...' (yes, I still think Tyler Hamilton is a wanker and for that matter his new boss, Michael Ball of Rock and Republic Jeans and Rock Racing, is a complete douche who I would like to invite over to my house for dinner just so I can have the distinct pleasure of kicking in his teeth). Another major reason that I see for the US not wanting to eat Chinese meat, besides the obvious stereotypes of 'what kind of meat is this anyway,' and/or threat of mercury, lead, etc, poisoning, is can you imagine the horror of a bunch of straight laced athletes when they bit into a skinless, boneless 'chicken breast' only to find out it turned into MDMA on the BBQ?

In other sporting news, major western countries are condemning the fire-bombing of embassies in Belgrade. A coalition, comprised of the US, UK and various others are 'officially' protesting that the US, UK and various other embassies had been attacked by protesters angered at Kosovo's succession from Serbia. More as the story unfolds


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