Massive Christmas weekend beef recall underscores need for reform

The most under-reported news item from the Christmas weekend was the recall of 248,000 pounds of factory beef due to E. Coli O157:H7 contamination. The USDA reports that the source of the poisoned beef is National Steak and Poultry, a meat processing company out of Owasso, Oklahoma.

There's no official word on the number of Americans sickened by the meat, but for those of you following along, E. Coli O157:H7 is the bacteria that causes Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome -- bloody diarrhea -- sometimes kidney failure, paralysis and, eventually, death.

The recall encompasses Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, South Dakota and Washington.

Of course Big Agra and the meatpacking industry will blame consumers for not cooking their beef sufficiently enough, which is sort of like blaming Charlie Sheen's wife for not sufficiently wrestling him to the ground and tying him up before he freaked out and (allegedly) attacked her.