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Largest beef recall in US history reveals compromised food supply
Tuesday, February 19, 2008 :Nearly three weeks after the release of an undercover video documenting sick cows being sent to slaughter, a major US beef producer has requested the recall of more than 143 million pounds of beef—much of it supplying public schools nationwide over the past two years. The recall, many times larger than any other beef recall in US history, yet again exposes the dangers posed by the weakening of government regulations on corporate operations in general and food production in particular.
At every step, from production through to marketing, public health is dependent on voluntary safety measures of big business.
The video, released January 30 by the Humane Society, shows cows that are too sick or crippled to stand up being shoved, dragged and rolled across cement-floored pens at the Hallmark Meat Packing slaughterhouse in Chino, California. Immobile cows whose hides are caked with manure can be seen being rammed with forklifts, jabbed in the eyes, dragged along by chains, shocked and subjected to simulated drowning with high-pressure hoses to get them on their feet in the so-called “kill box” of the facility.
The Hallmark plant is a subsidiary of Westland Meat Company, which has sold about 100 million pounds of beef, worth $146 million, to the federal Department of Agriculture over the past five years for its school lunch and needy families programs. Westland received the department’s “Supplier of the Year” award for the National School Lunch Program in 2004-05.Read More