Tuesday, April 27


U.S. Department of Agriculture officials pressure their veterinarians to sign documents that falsely certify food items are safe for export, UPI's Steve Mitchell reports, adding that vets say "management officials in USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service have intentionally created an atmosphere of fear and harassment designed to intimidate employees into blindly following supervisors' orders -- even if those orders involve signing fraudulent documents" and that "former veterinarians said the practice has been condoned in the agency for up to 20 years." For those who don't get why this is crucial, Mitchell notes that "The accusations also might have parallels to an ongoing investigation by the USDA's Office of Inspector General into the mad cow case. The OIG is looking into allegations the USDA veterinarian involved in the case was pressured by management to alter an inspection sheet that indicated the cow was a downer after it tested positive.

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