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(CBC)   20,000 kg of food aid from Canada to Oklahoma tornado victims denied entry to the US. Your government at work   (cbc.ca) divider line 98
    More: Dumbass, Canadians, tornado victims, relief, shelf lives, tornadoes  
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2615 clicks; posted to Politics » on 02 Jun 2013 at 3:17 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-02 09:56:58 AM

wildcardjack: Sauve said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now asking for documentation of every item on the truck, including manufacturer's documentation and country of origin before it will approve the shipment as "safe for consumption."

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 326x304]

USDA or Customs I could understand, but the FDA?

Maybe someone doesn't know what he's talking about, maybe someone has siphoned off the contents to resell on a gray market.


I'm pretty sure the FDA is stacked with pharma figures and understaffed for doing the actual protective work it's supposed to do. It's basically just another big force to let the handful of big American pharma companies keep their oligopoly in this country.
 
2013-06-02 10:04:26 AM

BitwiseShift: And this is one of the reasons the Red Cross tells people NOT to donate food.

This coming from the American Red Cross CEO who makes about $700,000 a year, and doesn't want to be paid in chickens.


What? Pretty sure he manages a large organization that should pay for decent leadership... But that would be a lot of chickens
 
2013-06-02 10:05:23 AM

Lost Thought 00: USDA is part of the FDA.


Heh. Not true. The USDA is the department of agriculture. It's an entire department. The FDA is an agency within the department of health and human services.
 
2013-06-02 10:07:33 AM

Relatively Obscure: Because U.S. President Barack Obama hasn't declared Moore, Okla., tornado a disaster area
 
I was pretty sure that's not true.  Am I mistaken?


As someone that lives in the south, most of it has a standing order declaring it a disaster area
 
2013-06-02 10:11:00 AM
How farking hungry are these people?
 
2013-06-02 10:25:19 AM
Those fatties in Oklahoma could stand to lose a few pounds anyway.
 
2013-06-02 10:26:17 AM
Fark: it's one tanker truck full of maple syrup.
 
2013-06-02 10:29:28 AM

KarmicDisaster: Fark: it's one tanker truck full of maple syrup.


And bags and bags and bags of milk.
 
2013-06-02 10:35:59 AM
It's amusing how lax people are about border control when they actually 'want' something brought in.

20,000kg worth of crated 'food'?  Oh sure, bring it on in, yeah, we don't need to check or anything.  You're white!
 
2013-06-02 10:37:29 AM

Bloody William: wildcardjack: Sauve said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now asking for documentation of every item on the truck, including manufacturer's documentation and country of origin before it will approve the shipment as "safe for consumption."

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 326x304]

USDA or Customs I could understand, but the FDA?

Maybe someone doesn't know what he's talking about, maybe someone has siphoned off the contents to resell on a gray market.

I'm pretty sure the FDA is stacked with pharma figures and understaffed for doing the actual protective work it's supposed to do. It's basically just another big force to let the handful of big American pharma companies keep their oligopoly in this country.


I seem to have tripped someone's "I hate the FDA" wire.

My comment had ZERO to do with the fda. It was about who controls border crossings.
 
2013-06-02 11:05:28 AM

BitwiseShift: And this is one of the reasons the Red Cross tells people NOT to donate food.

This coming from the American Red Cross CEO who makes about $700,000 a year, and doesn't want to be paid in chickens.


How much do you think the wages should be for running a massive international organization whose main purpose is dealing with logistical nightmares?

Or perhaps you think that since they deal with charity and relief they should offer pennies on the dollar and just hope that they still attract top quality talent from the pool of people willing to do a ridiculously demanding job out of the goodness of their hearts?
 
2013-06-02 11:24:36 AM
/reads thread; raises hand from the back of the room

I've worked on hurricane relief efforts in Florida and other Gulf Coast areas, with the Feds (e.g. the USDA), state and local agencies, as well as charitable organizations.  Such as the Red Cross - they were integrated within the response network.

After it all blows up and goes to Hell, the last thing you want on your hands in something like a pallet-load of blank VHS tapes, from some do-gooder.
 
2013-06-02 11:32:02 AM

Relatively Obscure: Because U.S. President Barack Obama hasn't declared Moore, Okla., tornado a disaster area

I was pretty sure that's not true.  Am I mistaken?




I believe the governor of a state has to petition the federal government for disaster relief. The federal government cannot just swoop down without permission from the state. I guess it's a states rights issue or whatever.

/ fark OK anyway they voted Jim Inhofe and Tom Coburn into office.
 
2013-06-02 11:51:24 AM

Somacandra: I think was can all agree that at least they didn't send Canadian drugs. You know, the FDA says those pharmaceuticals might not be up to FDA quality and could make some tornado victims sick.


I can see the headline now:  $1037 of Canadian pharmaceuticals denied entry to US.
 
2013-06-02 12:01:39 PM

SoupJohnB: /reads thread; raises hand from the back of the room

I've worked on hurricane relief efforts in Florida and other Gulf Coast areas, with the Feds (e.g. the USDA), state and local agencies, as well as charitable organizations.  Such as the Red Cross - they were integrated within the response network.

After it all blows up and goes to Hell, the last thing you want on your hands in something like a pallet-load of blank VHS tapes, from some do-gooder.


Why not? I mean, free VHS tapes! Making people miss out on recording their favorite shows, after all they've been through...that would just be mean.

/Plus they're fairly tasty when salted and deep fried.
 
2013-06-02 12:06:27 PM
They probably forgot the proper HTS codes on the commercial invoices. And probably the country of origin. At that weight, this shipment is clearly worth more than $2,000.00 US in customs value, did they remember to do a NAFTA COO? Probably not.

/works logistics. Don't send food, send money. Save yourself the grief.
 
2013-06-02 12:11:26 PM

brantgoose: Don't worry.

Instead of fighting global warming, Harper will just send you more CARE packages.

How are you fixed for hockey sticks? You can build houses out of them. That's what the builders are using instead of 2x4s now.


Don't send the ones intended for San Jose.  The housing market will collapse every year around this time.
 
2013-06-02 12:15:27 PM
This is only one of the many reasons why donations should be made in the form of money to a reputable organization like the Red Cross.

This wasn't relief, anyway, it was marketing.  One church sending supplies to another in a disaster area is an attempt to take advantage of personal misfortune to advertise and extend the influence of your cult.
 
2013-06-02 12:16:27 PM

wildcardjack: Sauve said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is now asking for documentation of every item on the truck, including manufacturer's documentation and country of origin before it will approve the shipment as "safe for consumption."

[3.bp.blogspot.com image 326x304]

USDA or Customs I could understand, but the FDA?

Maybe someone doesn't know what he's talking about, maybe someone has siphoned off the contents to resell on a gray market.


I have a bit of insight into this situation, having worked for a private lab that did 'hired gun' work for the FDA.  I'm simplifying things a bit, but this still may make your head hurt.

Customs handles contraband and smuggling for the most part, but they have no way of inspecting the quality of permitted foodstuffs coming through.  After 9/11, getting rolled up with Immigration and placed under DHS, ICE pretty much does nothing with foodstuffs except for testing for the presence of NBC weapons (i.e. - mobile Gieger counters) or smuggled contraband (coke in the coffee), with no interest in the *quality or purity* of what is passed through.  It's strictly a matter of detain/destroy or pass as far as ICE is concerned.

The USDA handles both conditions and quality of foodstuff on farms, be it the family farm down the road or the Big Agra spread that covers half a county.  Once the food goes to processing, the job gets split up.  The USDA has control during shipment to the facility, as well as intake.  The processing company or co-op generally has their own in house QA and QC personnel as well, who are almost invariably in insufficient numbers to actually handle the volume that the plant passes through, and may not have any formal training in the biological sciences at all.  Conditions inside the plant, as well as the finished goods leaving the facility, fall under the jurisdiction of the FDA; except for non processed animal products - which remains with the USDA.   For example:  can of corned beef hash - FDA, packaged hanger steak - USDA, bag of radishes - FDA, carton of eggs - USDA.  Dairy has it's own sets of rules I won't get into at the moment.

The finished product is then under the control of the FDA for transport to distribution centers, then on to the retailers where you pick up a can of Campbell's chunky soup and think nothing about it.  Since the FDA is in charge of food safety during distribution, they handle most of the food importation side of the house; except for such things as refrigerated meat and hanging carcasses, which is the balliwick of the USDA.  Both agencies maintain their own inspectors at control points, production facilities, and their own testing laboratories.

The problem is the inspection program.  USDA and FDA inspectors are not crosstrained, and are not authorized to work on the other's behalf.  In fact, things can get unbelievably turfy in the field.  The USDA also has a whole lot more inspectors handling food distribution - the FDA is a smaller outfit personnel wise, and they have to split manpower covering both food and pharmaceuticals.  If there was ever a good argument to spin both agencies off and combine them, this would be it.

Which is where my old lab came in - we would be contracted by both the feds and the corps to spot check lots, sometimes testing the same batch for both entities, and sometimes effectively being the QC lab for an entire company.  We would also precheck samples for import in order to make sure they could pass inspection.  What did we test?  Predominantly 'Extraneous Materials' and 'Defect Action Levels'.  I went on a liquid (mostly alcoholic) diet for about a month after taking the job.
 
2013-06-02 12:16:34 PM

UNC_Samurai: Don't send the ones intended for San Jose. The housing market will collapse every year around this time.

 
2013-06-02 12:19:32 PM
UNC_Samurai: Don't send the ones intended for San Jose. The housing market will collapse every year around this time.

*slow clap*

/having bad luck with gif's today
 
2013-06-02 12:27:22 PM
it's a "physical impossibility" to do the paperwork required in time to get the perishable food to Oklahoma before it spoils.

Really, Canada?

//send money next time.
 
2013-06-02 12:32:33 PM

Hollie Maea: BitwiseShift: And this is one of the reasons the Red Cross tells people NOT to donate food.

This coming from the American Red Cross CEO who makes about $700,000 a year, and doesn't want to be paid in chickens.

How much do you think the wages should be for running a massive international organization whose main purpose is dealing with logistical nightmares?

Or perhaps you think that since they deal with charity and relief they should offer pennies on the dollar and just hope that they still attract top quality talent from the pool of people willing to do a ridiculously demanding job out of the goodness of their hearts?


I don't know, how much does the Head of FEMA get paid?

I bet it's not nearly as much.
 
2013-06-02 12:39:49 PM

Delay: Lost Thought 00: USDA is part of the FDA.

Heh. Not true. The USDA is the department of agriculture. It's an entire department. The FDA is an agency within the department of health and human services.


The USDA is trying to protect American farmers and ranchers. Bringing in free food does not help the farmers.

/first Presidential primary is in Iowa.
 
2013-06-02 12:48:49 PM
 
2013-06-02 01:02:13 PM
This seems perfectly reasonable. You have to make sure dangerous things don't make it across the border. Like Kinder Eggs.
 
2013-06-02 01:04:13 PM

oouter: Aarontology: Do you want strong border protection or not?

do you want disaster relief or not?


Not for OK. They opposed sandy relief aid
 
2013-06-02 01:13:16 PM

Infernalist: It's amusing how lax people are about border control when they actually 'want' something brought in.

20,000kg worth of crated 'food'?  Oh sure, bring it on in, yeah, we don't need to check or anything.  You're white!


I know. It's often occurred to me that if one were interested in getting into the smuggling business, some sort of high-profile international charity would make a good cover.
 
2013-06-02 01:58:44 PM

Felgraf: Hollie Maea: BitwiseShift: And this is one of the reasons the Red Cross tells people NOT to donate food.

This coming from the American Red Cross CEO who makes about $700,000 a year, and doesn't want to be paid in chickens.

How much do you think the wages should be for running a massive international organization whose main purpose is dealing with logistical nightmares?

Or perhaps you think that since they deal with charity and relief they should offer pennies on the dollar and just hope that they still attract top quality talent from the pool of people willing to do a ridiculously demanding job out of the goodness of their hearts?

I don't know, how much does the Head of FEMA get paid?

I bet it's not nearly as much.


FEMA gets $10 billion a year in tax dollars. For that, they have 7,400 employees.

The American Red Cross has revenue of about $4 billion a year, 30,000 employees and about one million volunteers. Apart from disaster relief, it handles the nation's blood supply, and provides a host of other services.  Your house burned down? ARC will find a place for your family to stay. In the military and you need to travel home to visit a sick family member, but don't have the money?  ARC will loan you the money. They have a presence on nearly every major military installation to help fill the gaps in what the government provides for service members.

And they do that with half the money coming from blood products and the other half from donations.  They spend 92% on program, 8% on administrative and fundraising costs.
http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3 27 7

What percentage of that $10 billion FEMA gets do you think goes to administrative overhead?

But yeah, the CEO of a much, much larger organization that does much, much more with less than half the money gets paid more, so that's what we should judge them on, right?
 
2013-06-02 02:02:28 PM

palais: They probably forgot the proper HTS codes on the commercial invoices. And probably the country of origin. At that weight, this shipment is clearly worth more than $2,000.00 US in customs value, did they remember to do a NAFTA COO? Probably not.

/works logistics. Don't send food, send money. Save yourself the grief.


Ya know, they say the same thing about gifts at Christmas. Unless you're giving something specifically asked for you're giving them crap they don't want or need.

This is Oklahoma you're sending stuff to. Middle of the most over supplied, over fed, under saving country in the history of mankind.
 
2013-06-02 02:02:47 PM

heap: AppleOptionEsc: making it feel like 6 p.m. On a weekday.

[i44.tinypic.com image 507x650]


my poor doggs

put them back where you found them
 
2013-06-02 02:06:21 PM
Let's be realistic here. Yes, it was an absolute disaster for the people affected, but it was a tornado. Unlike a hurricane, where the damage can disrupt food distribution over multiple states, the area of destruction was pretty small. There's already plenty of food right there in town. Just send money so groups can buy it locally and distribute it to the people who need it with minimum hassle.
 
2013-06-02 02:08:51 PM
I live in Moore, on almost every street corner you can stop, step out of your car, and pick up cases upon cases of water, diapers, random clothes, canned goods, gatorade, etc. Seriously, we have enough everyone. Send cash donations if you want to help. That would help us get some more handsaws to break down all the tree limbs. Or plywood, nails, and hammers to make temporary repairs to windows and roofs. Or help out some folks with their deductible on their insurance. Or to get some people some money to stay in a hotel room. A lot of businesses were wiped out, and a lot of people aren't able to get paid their wages still. Money helps us with all the things that we need right now. This isn't a farking birthday present you're sending, it doesn't have to be personal. We know exactly what we don't have, and what we need right now, and in what order of priority we need it.
 
2013-06-02 02:09:56 PM

Mentat: reported: I seriously doubt there is a food shortage in OK. It's been well publicized that the best way to help with disaster relief is to donate money to reputable, local charities. Sending bulk amounts of food/clothing/etc. just creates more work for the local authorities who have to store, sort, and distribute stuff that may be inappropriate or already in excess supply. This sounds like a church group and their associates trying to offload a bunch of unsold/expired goods for a tax write-off and publicity.

Don't believe the lies.  We're eating each other down here.  Please send BBQ sauce.  Oklahomans are pretty flavorless.


Flavorless? I think the word you're looking for is tasteless. Oklahomans are pretty tasteless.
 
2013-06-02 02:11:30 PM

Pinhead Patriot: An aid truck bound for Oklahoma City to help tornado victims will be allowed to cross the border after all.


And when it arrives the workers, mostly volunteers, will have to go through all the stuff that was sent and either find some place to store it or discard it. If they don't have sufficient space then they'll have to spend money to rent a warehouse.

And all this does is take time and money away from what the workers are there for in the first place...to help the residents of Moore, Oklahoma.
 
2013-06-02 04:24:33 PM
Is this one of those threads where, just because "it's to help people!!" we should ignore all of our rules and regulations?
 
2013-06-02 04:45:11 PM

ArcadianRefugee: Is this one of those threads where, just because "it's to help people!!" we should ignore all of our rules and regulations?


I can see that one going down.

*somewhere in a cave in Afghanistan the Taliban tries to plot their next terrorist attack.

Taliban 1:  "We have got to pull off a terrorist attack to strike fear into the heart of the infadels! 9/11 was great but we haven't had anything nearly as big."

Taliban 2:  "I know, but by Allah those Americans are getting too smart, we can't get anything into the country without a hundred fedreal inspectors up our ass"

Taliban 1:  "Well think up something"

*radio in the background*

Newscaster:  "And in other news a shipment of food from Canada to the tornado ravaged state of Oklahoma was fast tracked by the US government, cutting through days of inspections and red tape"


*a grin spreads on both Taliban members faces*
 
2013-06-02 05:59:55 PM

ArcadianRefugee: Is this one of those threads where, just because "it's to help people!!" we should ignore all of our rules and regulations?


Yes.

There are usually more good reasons to ignore rules & regulations than there are to blindly obey them "because there are rules."
 
2013-06-02 06:24:00 PM

Gyrfalcon: ArcadianRefugee: Is this one of those threads where, just because "it's to help people!!" we should ignore all of our rules and regulations?

Yes.

There are usually more good reasons to ignore rules & regulations than there are to blindly obey them "because there are rules."


That's all fine until you accidentally let in contaminated food and people start dying from the recovery effort.

Seriously, Moore is between two of the biggest cities in the state, no one there is starving or thirsty from tornado damage.
 
2013-06-02 06:39:48 PM

Gyrfalcon: ArcadianRefugee: Is this one of those threads where, just because "it's to help people!!" we should ignore all of our rules and regulations?

Yes.

There are usually more good reasons to ignore rules & regulations than there are to blindly obey them "because there are rules."


...until we import a pest that wipes out the Pacific Northwest apple crop, or destroys maple trees on the East Coast, or chestnut trees. There's a reason some of those rules are in place, and ensuring that America can still produce food without destroying our agriculture is a damned good reason.

The real job is knowing which rules are there to ensure bureaucratic lubrication, and which rules actually secure & safeguard the country.
 
2013-06-02 08:24:18 PM

FormlessOne: Gyrfalcon: ArcadianRefugee: Is this one of those threads where, just because "it's to help people!!" we should ignore all of our rules and regulations?

Yes.

There are usually more good reasons to ignore rules & regulations than there are to blindly obey them "because there are rules."

...until we import a pest that wipes out the Pacific Northwest apple crop, or destroys maple trees on the East Coast, or chestnut trees. There's a reason some of those rules are in place, and ensuring that America can still produce food without destroying our agriculture is a damned good reason.

The real job is knowing which rules are there to ensure bureaucratic lubrication, and which rules actually secure & safeguard the country.


1. Is the food fresh produce? If yes, don't let it in. If no, go to step two.
2. Is the food packaged? If yes, let it in.

In this case, it's from f*cking Canadia. It's highly unlikely our neighbors to the north are sending us something that will wipe out the Pacific Northwest apple crop when its packaged food going to OKLAHOMA, or will destroy maple trees when it's going to OKLAHOMA. I fully understand why there are rules to secure and safeguard the country, and that's why I said what I did. Rules that are in place to keep out pests that would damage food crops are generally area specific (like apples and maple trees) or produce specific (fresh, raw or unpackaged produce). A truckload of bread and milk, therefore, however much it violates any regulations about shipping, does not imperil FOOD CROPS, and should be allowed to proceed despite not meeting agricultural norms. And meanwhile, the apple in the driver's lunchbox probably did potentially endanger the apple crop, but didn't get checked because nobody was looking at his lunch; it wasn't part of the shipping manifest.

The problem with blind adherence to The Rules is that first of all, in cases like this, stuff that should go through won't go through for reasons totally unrelated to the purpose of the rule--was there anything actually in the shipment that would endanger agriculture en route?--and instead we get a lot of wasted goodwill and anger over attempted kindness thwarted. Canada was trying to do something nice and got screwed by some bureaucrat with a clipboard who needed to dot some t's and cross some i's.

More importantly in my humble opinion, and related to the reasons you brought up--what is the reason for the rule? You can actually circumvent or ignore a rule IF the reason for it is known, and the fact that they refused to do so tells me they don't appreciate the reason for the rule. Why does the FDA need an alphabetized list of the entire cargo and its country of origin? To make sure there are no pharmaceuticals from suspect nations? That can't be ascertained from a visual inspection? If they can look at the cargo and see that it's obviously a shipment of perishable food, then the ONLY reason to want an alphabetized manifest is to make the file cabinet happy, and the clipboard ticker has no comprehension of why he needs it. Now, if such a confirmation can't be made from a visual inspection, then sure, they need their list; but holding a cargo until such a list is produced when no such list is available because it wasn't necessary means that they don't know why they need the list, THEY JUST DO.

That also means they're not really inspecting the cargo, they're inspecting the paperwork. They don't care if the truck is full of explosives and mercenaries as long as the manifest checks out; and that's a bad habit for border officials to have. In my opinion. Your opinion may vary. I'd rather have officials waiving rules and inspecting cargoes more closely than adhering to rules and letting suspicious cargoes through just because they meet all the requirements, myself.
 
2013-06-02 08:25:22 PM
Never donate food that can spoil, numbnuts.

Ever.
 
2013-06-02 08:47:23 PM

Gyrfalcon: 2. Is the food packaged? If yes, let it in.


Oops, you just let in contaminated packaged goods and got 250 people in Moore sick. Of course, this could have been stopped if the recall information matched when they checked the country of origin.

Also, why are people donating food when there's literally 4 dozen supermarkets, 3 Sam's Clubs and a Whole Foods Market all open and stocked within 25 miles? These people can get enough food locally to last them for 5 years if they wanted to. They don't have any place to put the food, so unless they're going to build a house out of this stuff, it's pointless to send it. Feed hungry Canadians with it, they can use it more than the people in Moore can.
 
2013-06-02 10:48:59 PM

Gyrfalcon: ArcadianRefugee: Is this one of those threads where, just because "it's to help people!!" we should ignore all of our rules and regulations?

Yes.

There are usually more good reasons to ignore rules & regulations than there are to blindly obey them "because there are rules."


Actually, having actually READ most of the thread, no, most people seem to be in favor of this, saying the Canuckleheads should've just sent some cash to the Red Cross.
 
2013-06-02 11:09:08 PM

MisterRonbo: What percentage of that $10 billion FEMA gets do you think goes to administrative overhead?


Less than 8%. Closer to 7%.


MisterRonbo: but yeah, the CEO of a much, much larger organization that does much, much more with less than half the money gets paid more, so that's what we should judge them on, right?

When you count all of the police and firefighters and medics. All of the construction and line worker crews. All of the people that are enabled by FEMA money to respond and keep working, the numbers look quite different. Saying the Red Cross is "larger" or more efficient is just ignorance.  I had a more lengthy response addressing some of the derp about FEMA vs Red Cross but facts are not going to change any of your minds. In reality we have the best of both worlds and avoid most of the worst of both worlds(ineptitude for government and greed for private), as much as people like to biatch about and demonize either one.

Anyway. Sending things that people don't need to make yourself feel better does not help in any way. Sorry Canada.
 
2013-06-03 04:10:16 AM

No Such Agency: From what I understand about her personal life, any handies from Anne Murray would be clumsy ones indeed, unless you have a vagina.


I don't think so, Tim.

"In a fast-paced and revealing autobiography, the 64-year-old superstar from Springhill, N.S., will surprise some when she announces that she was having an affair with her now ex-husband, Bill Langstroth, while he was still married to his first wife.
.. She also admits that she was once so inebriated that she peed on famous composer and jazz trumpeter Herb Alpert's pants while sitting on his lap in a cab in the Bahamas at the start of her show business career."
 
2013-06-03 04:15:24 AM
WELL MEANING PEOPLE MAKE STUPID DECISION. NEWS AT 11.

Seriously, it's not like we don't have food or diapers in the USA. If you want to help, the best way is to send a check. Lots of people lost their homes and their livelihoods and they need more substantial help than some perishable goods and toilet paper.
 
2013-06-03 05:21:30 AM

BarkingUnicorn: I don't think so, Tim.


Well how about that.  I'm not sure why I thought she was gay.  Do yer research, me.
 
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