Monday, February 18, 2008

Diseased Cattle On The Menu - Another Stunning Meat Recall

The video shows sick cattle, so sick that they cannot stand up being prodded and shoved in one case by a fork lift toward the slaughterhouse. When cattle loose the ability to walk, they are sick, in some cases sick with diseases like Mad Cow Disease that can be transmitted to humans. That is why it is illegal to slaughter what are called in the industry "downer cattle" for consumption. Beyond that, the treatment of the cattle is inhumane.

Was this cruelty and health hazard caught by government inspectors? Nope, by the Humane Society in an undercover sting operation. Now the government has stepped in and is forcibly recalling 143 million pounds of beef much of it bound for school lunch programs. The problem is much of it has already been cooked and served.

The systematic gutting of the country’s food inspection system by the Bush administration may well be one of the most devastating legacies of a horrific presidency. At the bidding of big business, Bush and his cronies have cut back regulations everywhere, even when they are directly protecting the public health of millions. That is almost criminal.

Now another meat packer very well may go bankrupt. Like the now closed Topps Meat Company whose fortunes evaporated when a massive recall was issued because of lax health inspections and poor manufacturing processes, Hallmark Meat Packing will have a tough time weathering this storm. I have to wonder how it helps businesses to let them get in so deep because of lax regulation that they fail.

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