Many readers were most concerned with his exposure of health violations and unsanitary practices in the American meatpacking industry during the early 20th century, based on an investigation he did for a socialist newspaper.
The book depicts working class poverty, the lack of social supports, harsh and unpleasant living and working conditions, and a hopelessness among many workers. These elements are contrasted with the deeply rooted corruption of people in power. A review by the writer Jack London called it, “the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of wage slavery.”
WTO Meat-Labeling Ruling Jeopardizes Consumer Safeguards
by Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams
Published on Monday, October 20, 2014
In its decision, the WTO said the country-of-origin labels (also referred to as ‘COOL’) forced meatpackers to segregate and keep detailed records on imported livestock, giving them an incentive to favor U.S. livestock.
“The WTO’s continued assault against commonsense food labels is just another example of how corporate-controlled trade policy undermines the basic protections that U.S. consumers deserve,” said Food & Water Watch executive director Wenonah Hauter in response to the news. “The United States should appeal the ruling and continue to fight for sensible consumer safeguards at the supermarket.”
Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch, said the ruling speaks to how international trade deals weaken U.S. consumer, environmental and other protections: “Today’s ruling spotlights how these so called ‘trade’ deals are packed with non-trade provisions that threaten our most basic rights, such as even knowing the source and safety of what’s on our dinner plate.”
What’s more, Hauter added, the dispute illustrates how corporate special interests can use the WTO to evade democratic governance. According to Food & Water Watch, the U.S. meatpacking industry has unsuccessfully opposed COOL rules in Congress, the executive branch, and the courts for the last 15 years.
“The meatpacking lobby has lost the COOL debate from the court of public opinion to the Court of Appeals to the halls of Congress so they are taking their complaint to the faceless unelected bureaucrats in Geneva,” she said. “When the meat cannot get its way here in America, it is trying to use the WTO to overturn the will of the American people.”