Mystery Meat: Why You’re Not Allowed To Know About Your Food

With the demise of our right to know the “country of origin” of our food in the grocery store, I wrote this piece for Fox News about the shrinking rights of Americans when corporations are given new Constitutional rights. 

What’s In Your Summer Burger: Why Your Government

Doesn’t Want You To Know

Unknown

Even if they are not the hippest foodies, most people who buy hamburger for a late summer cookout want to know the source of their ground beef. If not the specific farm or state or even region, whether the meat is American-raised or has traveled across the globe from who knows where matters to a lot of Americans. That insistence on our right to know about our food is why federal law requires that meat be labeled with the country of origin. Or it used to do that.

In Washington, a corporate lobby called the American Meat Institute filed a federal lawsuit in support of an effort by foreign countries and international lobbyists to block our right-to-know law. The corporate lobby claims that the “country of origin” rule violates the corporations’ First Amendment “right to refrain from speaking at all.”

Here’s the rest of the story

About Jeff Clements

Jeff Clements is co-founder and chair of the board of Free Speech for People, a national non-partisan campaign to overturn Citizens United v. FEC, challenge excessive corporate power, and strengthen American democracy and republican self-government. He co-founded Free Speech For People in 2010, after representing several public interest organizations with a Supreme Court amicus brief in the Citizens United case. Jeff has served as Assistant Attorney General and Chief of the Public Protection Bureau in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. As Bureau Chief, he led more than 100 staff in the enforcement of environmental, healthcare, financial services, civil rights, antitrust and consumer protection laws. In private practice, Jeff has been a partner at Mintz Levin in Boston, and in his own firm. Jeff also has served in leadership capacities on numerous boards, including that of the Portland Water District, a public agency responsible for protecting and delivering safe drinking water and ensuring proper treatment of wastewater for 160,000 people; Friends of Casco Bay, an environmental organization he co-founded with others to protect and enhance stewardship of Maine’s Casco Bay; and The Waldorf School in Lexington, Massachusetts. In 2012, Jeff co-founded Whaleback Partners LLC, which provides cost-effective capital to farmers and businesses engaged in local, sustainable agriculture. Jeff graduated with distinction in History and Government from Colby College in 1984, and magna cum laude from the Cornell Law School in 1988. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts with his wife and three children. Jeff Clements Twitter: @ClementsJeff Email: jclements@freespeechforpeople.org
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