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Voice: Reminded of other meat actions, other campaigns

April 19, 2001

Foot-and-mouth disease reminds us of earlier challenges this country has had.

Upton Sinclair's 1906 novel "The Jungle" led to the Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1907.

However, only those packing plants shipping meat out of state were inspected. It took 60 years to get meat shipped within the state under inspection.

The Wholesome Meat Act was signed into law by LBJ on Dec. 15, 1967. In attendance were Ralph Nader — who had played a significant role in its becoming law — and 89-year-old Upton Sinclair (in a wheelchair).

Sinclair tried to rise to his feet when he was introduced to Nader.

Fritz Mondale and Neal Smith played key roles in getting it through Congress.

Thirty-three years before, Upton Sinclair had run for California governor in 1934 on his EPIC (End Poverty in California) platform. He made a good run but lost.


Nader ran for president in 2000, saying there was no difference between the two major party candidates.

Ralph had been on six months active duty with the Army in 1958 and 1959.

A cook at Fort Dix, N.J., his specialty was baking, so he couldn't have run a half-baked "spoiler" campaign. It would have no validity.

David Halberstam grew up with Nader in Winsted, Conn., and had known the Gore family when he worked on the Nashville paper. David supported Gore.


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