Scanning the headlines today moved me to write. The US wishes to impose acceptance of their hygiene standards upon the UK, including washing poultry in a chlorinated wash, a practice banned by the EU and something I was taught not to do whilst completing food health and safety courses. They would also be forcing us to accept GM fruit and vegetables, something that has not been cleared for human consumption by the EU. It is argued that we have actually been eating GM foods for some time now, and 20 years ago the UK was at the forefront of the GM phenomenon. The Independent newspaper has an interesting article regarding the whole scenario for you to read here and The Spectator have an interesting take on it here. The government have been quoted as saying:
Government Spokesperson, Independent Newspaper, 16.8.19
“We have been clear on numerous occasions that we will not compromise on our high food or animal welfare standards as part of any trade deals.”
We can only but hope that this is the case, although these practices are technically ‘safe’ and yes our mains water is cleaned using chlorine, we can but hope that the water companies will starting using UV to sterilise water – this practice is becoming more common because it also kills the legionella bacteria which causes the sometimes fatal Legionnaires’ disease, caused by inhaling the bacteria found outdoors, legionella bacteria survive in soil and water, but rarely cause infections. Indoors, though, legionella bacteria can multiply in all kinds of water systems — hot tubs, air conditioners and mist sprayers in the produce section of the supermarket. It has also been found in car screen wash tanks.
Take from this information what you will, there will always be bias in the way media present issues to you, they all have their own hidden agenda and in these turbulent times of brexit and other horrors they will use stories to scare us into changing our minds. Those who read it will be influenced one way or another, agreeing or disagreeing with the issues being discussed. There will be U-Turns in this selection of supposed mini-deals being discussed over the coming months, with the suggestion of discussing manufacturing now and leaving more complicated issues like agriculture until later, but as several have said it would be remiss to leave agriculture out of the equation when considering the deal as a whole. The US attitude of well if you have tariffs then so do we and you have to accept them is not helpful and frankly childish. We can but hope that things will be done in our best interests as the government says but we all know where that normally gets us.
All this is happening whilst a fiasco is going on with Israel and the USA – from my perspective it comes as an almost orchestrated act by Trump and the Israeli government, but to what end?
Another headline which seems to be growing is the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein develops as an autopsy reveals broken neck bones consistent with strangulation, he was a well connected financier a registered sex offender and the accusations against him remain shocking. Whether it was the pressure of spilling the beans or fear from someone else he might spill the beans is almost irrelevant as there is no chance for closure for his victims. The Washington Post has an interesting article here. What was most interesting is reading the trending section of Twitter relating to this story because at the bottom there were links to local suicide helplines for those who feel they might be in need of help, which can only be a positive step towards better mental health for everyone.