Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Ongoing Bureaucratic Cock-Up, Part 4

Up in flames: hundreds of tons of food that will be denied to the starving refugees because of USDA obstructionism:

HUNDREDS of tons of British food aid shipped to America for starving Hurricane Katrina survivors is to be burned...

..."It is perfectly good Nato approved food of the type British servicemen have. Yet the FDA are saying that because there is a meat content and it has come from Britain it must be destroyed.

"If they are trying to argue there is a BSE reason then that is ludicrously out of date. There is more BSE in the States than there ever was in Britain and UK meat has been safe for years."


"I could have saved her life but was not allowed to try":

Refugees from New Orleans died after private doctors were ordered to stop giving treatment because they were not covered by United States government medical liability insurance, according to two American surgeons.

2 Comments:

Blogger Management said...

19 September 2005
EXCLUSIVE: UP IN FLAMES
Tons of British aid donated to help Hurricane Katrina victims to be BURNED by Americans
From Ryan Parry, US Correspondent in New York

HUNDREDS of tons of British food aid shipped to America for starving Hurricane Katrina survivors is to be burned.

US red tape is stopping it from reaching hungry evacuees.

Instead tons of the badly needed Nato ration packs, the same as those eaten by British troops in Iraq, has been condemned as unfit for human consumption.

And unless the bureaucratic mess is cleared up soon it could be sent for incineration.

One British aid worker last night called the move "sickening senselessness" and said furious colleagues were "spitting blood".

The food, which cost British taxpayers millions, is sitting idle in a huge warehouse after the Food and Drug Agency recalled it when it had already left to be distributed.

Scores of lorries headed back to a warehouse in Little Rock, Arkansas, to dump it at an FDA incineration plant.

The Ministry of Defence in London said last night that 400,000 operational ration packs had been shipped to the US.

But officials blamed the US Department of Agriculture, which impounded the shipment under regulations relating to the import and export of meat.

The aid worker, who would not be named, said: "This is the most appalling act of sickening senselessness while people starve.

"The FDA has recalled aid from Britain because it has been condemned as unfit for human consumption, despite the fact that these are Nato approved rations of exactly the same type fed to British soldiers in Iraq.

"Under Nato, American soldiers are also entitled to eat such rations, yet the starving of the American South will see them go up in smoke because of FDA red tape madness."

The worker added: "There will be a cloud of smoke above Little Rock soon - of burned food, of anger and of shame that the world's richest nation couldn't organise a p**s up in a brewery and lets Americans starve while they arrogantly observe petty regulations.

"Everyone is revolted by the chaotic shambles the US is making of this crisis. Guys from Unicef are walking around spitting blood.

"This is utter madness. People have worked their socks off to get food into the region.

"It is perfectly good Nato approved food of the type British servicemen have. Yet the FDA are saying that because there is a meat content and it has come from Britain it must be destroyed.

"If they are trying to argue there is a BSE reason then that is ludicrously out of date. There is more BSE in the States than there ever was in Britain and UK meat has been safe for years."

The Ministry of Defence said: "We understand there was a glitch and these packs have been impounded by the US Department of Agriculture under regulations relating to the import and export of meat.

"The situation is changing all the time and at our last meeting on Friday we were told progress was being made in relation to the release of these packs. The Americans certainly haven't indicated to us that there are any more problems and they haven't asked us to take them back."

Food from Spain and Italy is also being held because it fails to meet US standards and has been judged unfit for human consumption.

And Israeli relief agencies are furious that thousands of gallons of pear juice are to be destroyed because it has been judged unfit.

The FDA said: "We did inspect some MREs (meals ready to eat) on September 13. They are the only MREs we looked at. There were 70 huge pallets of vegetarian MREs.

"They were from a foreign nation. We inspected them and then released them for distribution."

Voice of the Mirror: Page 6

Britain drifting to ghettos: Page 24

2:13 AM  
Blogger Management said...

I could have saved her life but was denied permission'
By Toby Harnden in New Orlean
(Filed: 18/09/2005)

Refugees from New Orleans died after private doctors were ordered to stop giving treatment because they were not covered by United States government medical liability insurance, according to two American surgeons.

Mark N Perlmutter, an orthap├Ždic surgeon from Pennsylvania, was told by a senior US Coast Guard officer representing the embattled Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) that he must leave the overstretched disaster relief hospital at New Orleans airport.

He had applied a chest compression after a female patient died and was turning to another critically ill woman at the triage reception area on the airport tarmac when he was summoned to see Capt Art French, the doctor in charge of the hospital.

"The other lady was in equally bad shape and I was not able to work on her. When I went back afterward to get my supplies they were taking her body to a store where the deceased were being placed.

"It's absolutely possible I would have saved her life but I was denied permission to try." An estimated 20 to 30 patients died at the temporary hospital that day.

Dr Perlmutter arrived with Clark Gerhart, a surgeon colleague, and Alison Torrens, from Co Antrim, a medical student at Aberdeen University. All three had volunteered their services free of charge.

It was five days after Hurricane Katrina had struck but all three were struck by the sense of chaos. "It was like something out of a film," said Miss Torrens. "I couldn't believe I was in the middle of America. There were people lying on the luggage racks. Every single patient was in a pool of urine or had soiled themselves."

The surgeons said that the medical staff there had welcomed their arrival and needed trained doctors.

"They were just swamped," said Dr Gerhart. The surgeons, however, were told they could not work there without Fema credentials, which could not be issued even though they had their medical licences with them.

"[Capt French's] words were, 'We don't have any way to do credentialing and no way to ensure tort liability coverage'. How any one could utter those words in the middle of a catastrophe I do not know."

Dr Perlmutter said that he begged to be allowed to work until he could be relieved by a Fema doctor but was told that this was not possible.

Kim Pease, a Fema spokesman, said: "The volunteer doctor [Dr Perlmutter] was not a credentialed Fema physician and, thus, was subject to law enforcement rules in a disaster area."

The three were flown back to Baton Rouge in another Black Hawk and were then swiftly given credentials by the Louisiana state authorities. They spent four days treating hundreds of patients.

The surgeons, who worked at 9/11, were left with a sense of frustration that they had been blocked by what seemed to be petty bureaucracy.

"Could we have saved any of those lives?" asked Dr Gerhart. "We'd certainly like to have tried."

2:19 AM  

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