Federal Court OKs Meat Giants Poisoning Americans with Salmonella

Federal Court OKs Meat Giants
Poisoning Americans with Salmonella

May I point out the USDA, which is controlled by the meat industry, has
created the situation (consumer poisoning) itself by deregulating
inspection. The meat industry WANTS what has happened--that is, the
USDA to be forced to use an 'unscientific' standard for salmonella
contamination--so that when the standard is (rightly) struck down as
arbitrary, the only alternative is irradiation. At root, the meat industry
decided to change what the baseline contamination level is going to be;
deregulation has raised the level of contamination, and now the USDA is
trying to close the barn door on contamination, but has no legally
justifiable way to do so as long as the new inspection methods remain.

So, people shouldn't be mad at the USDA for having a poor standard,
or the court for saying the standard is not justifiable, but rather at the
incestuous relationship between the USDA top brass especially at the Food
Safety and Inspection Service and the meat/poultry industry, which is the
source of deregulation of inspection. That's where the real problem is.


Court Lessens Federal Power to Shut Down Meat Plants


ASHINGTON, Dec. 16 After a decision by a federal court, the Agriculture
Department has decided it will no longer shut down meat processing plants
that repeatedly fail to control the salmonella bacteria.

Although the move has been applauded by the processors, the cattlemen's
trade association says the Agriculture Department must continue to enforce
the salmonella standards in the slaughtering plants.

Gary Weber, the executive director of regulatory affairs for the National
Cattlemen's Beef Association, said the trade association has made its
views known to the secretary of agriculture, Ann M. Veneman. "We have told
her that U.S.D.A. has full authority to regulate the standards," Mr. Weber

In its decision, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit,
in New Orleans, sided with federal District Judge A. Joe Fish in Texas,
who ruled last year that the Agriculture Department could not close
Supreme Beef Processors Inc., which is based in Dallas, because it failed
three series of tests for salmonella. The appeals court said salmonella
was not an adulterant because it was not harmful since normal cooking
practices for meat and poultry destroyed the bacteria.

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