Episode

2/1 Essential Workers No More?; Getting Poison Out Of Our Food w/ Raymond Jackson & Helena Bottemiller-Evich

February 1, 2023

Sam and Emma host Raymond Jackson, President of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 689, to discuss the recent strike by Loudoun County Transit workers in Virginia. Then, they are joined by Helena Bottemiller Evich, founder of the publication Food Fix, to discuss the recent developments within the FDA and the issues surrounding Abbott’s baby formula. First, Emma and Sam run through updates on Trump’s pleading of the fifth for the 400th time, the AP African American course updates, Nikki Haley launching her run for the GOP nomination in 2024, Hochul siding with her corporate lobbyists once again, and the previous abuses of the cops that killed Tyre Nichols, before parsing through Biden’s State Department’s refusal to acknowledge the apartheid and oppression faced by Palestinian people. Raymond Jackson then joins as he dives into the context of ATU Local 689’s strike as it reaches its third week, with Keolis taking over Loudoun Transit in 2021 and promptly cutting health benefits and forcing workers into outrageous workloads, all while serving the richest county in the US. After walking through the one-sided bargaining that has taken place in the wake of the takeover, Jackson discusses the other transit strikes inspired by Keolis’s takeovers, before they wrap up the interview by exploring the various ways to support Local 689 both from Virginia and afar. Helena Bottemiller-Evich then dives into the recent announcement of a major reorganization of the FDA amidst intense scrutiny over their food management, tackling the baby-formula drama that put this issue front and center, and why, despite decades of dysfunction, this issue only just came to a breaking point. They discuss the impact of Donald Trump’s takedown of the administrative state, and why it didn’t impact the revolving door of drug-focused administrators, before taking a step back to look at the much greater issues that faced the FDA’s actual attempts to regulate food, particularly in terms of its funding and relationship to the industry it supposedly regulates. Wrapping up, Helena, Sam, and Emma tackle the recent updates to FDA regulation, including taking heavy metals out of baby food, and how to bolster the US’ ability to regulate the food industry.

And in the Fun Half: Sam and Emma discuss Donald Trump staking out his violently transphobic agenda, the major PACs that stand in line with him, Lindsay Graham’s defense of supporting Trump despite his agenda being mirrored across the GOP, and Jonah from Montreal discusses Crowder’s legacy in Canada. Chris from the Twin Cities dives into the dangers of increasing transphobic policy, Ben Shapiro wishes Black people would just comply with the Police’s conflicting commands, Tony discusses the challenge of balancing means-tested social welfare with low-income budget changes, and H. Jon Benjamin has a heart to heart with Sam about the issues he brings to the Bob’s Burgers studio, plus, your calls and IMs!

Get more information on the ATU strike here: https://www.atulocal689.org/

Check out Food Fix here: https://foodfix.co/

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