In anticipation of Independence Day, last week’s episode of Real Time with Bill Maher closed with a six-minute segment about consumer misinformation in America. Maher began the bit with a reference to the recent House vote to remove country-of-origin meat labels by saying, “Call me crazy, but before I put your meat in my mouth, I’d like to know where it’s been.” Maher later read the current label of a single package of beef, which listed Australia, USA, Nicaragua, and New Zealand as its countr(ies) of origin, to which Maher sarcastically said, “C’mon, no cow is that well-traveled.” The comedian went on to say, “We’re the United States of you don’t want to know,” pointing to the strike down of California’s GMO-labeling proposition and the enactment of ag-gag laws after footage in slaughterhouses led to massive meat recalls. “When consumers know things, they tend to make informed decisions,” Maher concluded, ending with, “I’m sorry, but your right to know something will always be outweighed by [corporations’] right to hide it from you. Because in America, you can be armed, just not with the facts.” Maher penned an op-ed in the New York Times today, urging Costco to “free the hens, already.”
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