Monday, May 9


In another Friday release that mysteriously got swept under the news rug, the USDA has admitted that the "BSE Firewall" does not exist. "There is still a risk, though slight, of mad cow disease in the United States, and it is greatest in the three Northwestern states bordering Canada." Remember when the risk was so small it amounted to "no risk?" How'd we get to particular states with "greatest risk?" Well... "Investigators tracked the animals born in the same herd within a year of the [BSE-]infected cows or born to them, and of those, 29 were shipped to the United States. Investigators were unable to find 11 of those animals; 18 were slaughtered for their meat or killed for other reasons." Interesting that this is coming out now. Are we being softened up for another "discovery?"

UPDATE: Don't know if this answers the previous question, but it's certainly an interesting coincidence: 5/6: Feds probing claims of mad cow violations. Plenty of provovative tidbits, as usual, in this Steve Mitchell story. Some excerpts:

    Investigators with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Inspector General's office are looking into allegations that cow brains and other risky materials that could carry mad cow disease might be entering the human food supply in violation of agency policy, United Press International has learned.

    Stanley Painter, chairman of the National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals... said he had been informed other USDA meat inspectors were aware of cases where employees of meatpacking plants failed to ensure specified risk materials or SRMs -- such as brains and spinal cords -- from cows over 30 months old did not enter the nation's food supply.

    Painter said OIG investigators told him in March they did not have the non-compliance reports and also were having difficulty obtaining them.

    OIG officials have informed Hinchey's [Rep. Maurice Hinchey, D-N.Y.] office they interviewed Painter and also are investigating how the USDA handled his complaints, the aide said, and added Hinchey plans to follow up on this matter.

    Painter said the agency officials asked him questions that suggested they did not understand USDA policies and implied he should have handled the reports of alleged violations by doing things that would have been a breach of official agency procedures.

    Painter said the violations continue to happen and noted he just recently learned of another one. "The potential is there for it to happen all across the country," he said. "It's not just in one location, it's not isolated, because the policy is the same nationwide."

No comments: