Chinese seafood restrictions in Louisiana

Congratulations to Bob Odom, for taking time out of his busy schedule to do his job. As politics trend further toward federalism, states will have to take more initiative to keep their citizens safe.

Last week, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and Commerce announced it had ordered a halt to the sale of Chinese catfish in Mississippi grocery stores after tests found ciprofloxacin and enrofloxacin, members of the fluoroquinolones family of antibiotics, which are banned for use in the United States.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries conducted similar tests and last month placed a stop-sale order on all catfish imported from China. Commissioner Ron Sparks said 14 of 20 Chinese catfish samples had tested positive for fluoroquinolones.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Mike Ross, an Arkansas Democrat, said that he has asked the FDA to ban imported Chinese fish being sold as catfish until an investigation is complete.

Catfish Farmers of America, a trade group based in Jackson, Mississippi, says fluoroquinolones “can cause serious side effects including nerve, muscle and heart problems, as well as allergic reactions.” Resistance to fluoroquinolones also can develop rapidly, causing possibly life-threatening consequences for some consumers, the catfish trade group said.

Anyone till craving Chinese crawfish?

Oh, yeah, and an epidemic in south China is causing pigs to bleed through their bodies…

Hong Kong television broadcasts and newspapers were full of lurid accounts today of pigs staggering around with blood pouring from their bodies in Gaoyao and neighboring Yunfu, both in Guangdong Province. The Apple Daily newspaper said that as many as 80 percent of the pigs in the area had died, that panicky farmers were selling ailing animals at deep discounts and that pig carcasses were floating in a river.

The reports in Hong Kong said the disease began killing pigs after the Chinese New Year celebrations in February, and is now spreading. But state-controlled news outlets in China have reported almost nothing about the pig deaths, and very little about the wheat gluten problem.


SCOTUS rules on Emissions

An interesting article on the recent ruling by the Supreme Court on the Bush Administration’s ruling on carbon dioxide emissions. Apparently John Paul Stephens, et. al., believes the EPA is not doing enough.

He said a refusal to regulate could be based only on science and “reasoned justification,” adding that while the statute left the central determination to the “judgment” of the agency’s administrator, “the use of the word ‘judgment’ is not a roving license to ignore the statutory text.”

In other words, ‘judgement” is not a roving license to use your own judgement, so the court’s judgement must intervene.

Regardless of your take on the issue itself, the interesting thing in this article is the resurgence of “Federalism” that this decision represents. John Paul Stephens, long an opponent of many of the states’ rights decisions over the Rehnquist years, uses this resurgence as a weapon:

This new twist on the court’s standing doctrine may have been an essential tactic in winning the vote of Kennedy, a leader in the court’s federalism revolution of recent years. Stevens, a dissenter from the court’s states’-rights rulings and a master of court strategy, in effect managed to use federalism as a sword rather than a shield.

This illustrates clearly how the most powerful man on the Supreme Court is now undoubtedly Anthony Kennedy. He used to share the “Moderate” and tie-breaker role with Sandra Day O’Connor. Now he is THE guy.

International Herald Tribune

An interesting website

This is a government website showing a lot of facts and figures. If you click on map layers and check “Federal Lands”, you can see how much of America belongs to the federal government. Looks like 100% of Nevada is under federal protection. It is predicted that America will have 400,000,000 people in the next fifty years. Will the government allow some of this land to be developed? It also looks like less than fifty percent of the California actually belongs to California. I wonder if, no, you don’t think this could be a factor in home prices there, could it? Impossible.