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Laying Partial Blame On Humane Society For Beef Recall is UTTER Nonsense

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The Bush Administration’s Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer ignorantly said that The Humane Society of the United States is partly responsible for the magnitude of the largest beef recall in the nation's history Thursday.

On February 17, 2008 the Agriculture Department Sunday ordered the recall of 143 million pounds of beef that came from a California processing plant.Cows at the food processing plant were videotaped falling down and being hoisted by forklift to get them to slaughter.Many believe the tape was made in October. 

According to CNN, Humane Society ("HSUA") president Wayne Pacelle said any delay in releasing the video was caused by a request from a California district attorney's office that has since filed charges against two men who worked at the plant. HSUA posted the video in late January but the federal government waited for about three weeks to act. The video was part of the group's undercover investigation of conditions at the Westland/Hallmark Meat Packing Company of Chino, California.

CNN has reported that Pacelle said his group went to local authorities because "we have seen the USDA time and time again not take action."But according to CNN  San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos was slow to respond and the Humane Society then decided to post the video to "goad" authorities into taking action, Pacelle said.

It is disgusting to me that now our food safety system has to depend on HSUA and when they do come forward, HSUA is to blame for the recall.  It is literally UTTER (or is it "UDDER") NONSENSE.

CNN also reported that Schafer denied there is a food safety hazard with the recall. He said "one cow that we know of went down just before moving into the gate, and we were supposed to be notified and were not."The federal government requires cattle be able to walk to slaughter after an inspection by a USDA veterinarian -- largely as a precaution against bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease.Obviously, besides the fallen cattle, the USDA veterinarian has fallen down on the job.Of course, without the undercover video the federal government never would have known about the problem, but again in some form of twisted logic, the Humane Society is to blame and not the federal government for falling down on the job. As of February 21, 2008, CNN reported that officials had located 15.2 million pounds of the 143 million pounds of recalled beef. Agriculture officials said another 20 million pounds has already been consumed.

Doesn't it take about 30 years for MAD COW disease to show up in humans after consumption of tainted beef.  HUMM, I wonder?

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Kevin Norte is a legal analyst, frequent guest Op-Ed contributor for Los Angeles's Metropolitian-New Enterprise, political blogger, and an attorney. Kevin, earlier in his career helped organize the attorneys at his place of employment into an (more...)
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