Monday, February 18

THE 143-MILLION-POUND BOMBSHELL


Hey folks, remember how all last week and the week before the USDA kept saying there was no evidence the downers were ever made into meat? Well, as of Sunday afternoon, there suddenly was ... yes... evidence the downers were ever made into meat! And on that little distinction rests the largest beef recall in U.S. history. Because while the chance of illness, according to the USDA, is "low," there's almost no doubt now that American consumers over the past two years (at least) have been eating beef from animals too sick to stand up on their own! Hey hey! Animals that are therefore most likely to suffer from Mad Cow disease! But don't worry, to the USDA that's only "Class II." It's a low risk - to them, anyway.

On his blog Wayne Pacelle says "It's not up to The HSUS to do the USDA's job," yet that's exactly what's happened here, and it bears repeating: The largest beef recall in US history was initiated by an outside agency acting in secret while the USDA inspector (according to the USDA) was right there on the premises. If food safety and animal-cruelty prosecution were up to the USDA, this would all still be going on at Westland/Hallmark. And of course, duh, it is all still going on all over the country, but after this, a lot of meat producers have got to be pretty nervous about exactly what's going on down at the kill floor. I'd call that a good day's work.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy that the meat got recalled. :] My school just recalled all of their disgusting beef lunches, and all of my other veggie friends and I started jumping up and down.

jd said...

At this web site
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/PDF/Recall_005-2008_Release.pdf
It says that "remote probability that the beef being recalled would cause adverse health effects if consumed". Nowhere does it say what effects. Does anyone know? I am scared for my 5yr old that eats at school.
Also is there a list of schools that this was shipped to? I live in North Dakota, and found a list of Minnesota schools, but I can't find anything for North Dakota.

soyjoy said...

jd -

One adverse health effect is food poisoning, e.g. salmonella, e.coli etc. but anyone who was going to get sick from that would have done so soon after eating the meat. Unfortunately, the other possibility, Mad Cow disease (which the downer prohibition was enacted in order to stop) may take years or decades to show up.

So far to the best of my knowledge the USDA has not released a comprehensive list of schools. They are being pressured to do so, however. You could contact the Conn. congresswoman mentioned at the top of this page and see how her efforts are doing, since she's pushing for a nationwide list. Or depending on how meat-industry-independent your ND representatives are, you could contact them to help make this happen. In the meantime, you could use that PDF to try to get information from your local district as to whether they had ordered any of the recalled items. Hope this helps.