SF Bay Area Indymedia indymedia
About Contact Subscribe Calendar Publish Print Donate

Central Valley | Animal Liberation | Health, Housing, and Public Services | Front Page

Thu Feb 28 2008 The Cost of Living in a Fast Food Nation
600_cow.jpg Local and national media are reporting on the recall of 143 million pounds of meat from a southern California slaughterhouse. More than 70 school districts and social service agencies in the Central Valley ended up with some of that meat. But, the issue of contaminated meat might be a lot more problematic and local than we have been told. According to Steven Gomez*, who worked for six months at Cargill Regional Beef in Fresno, the practices that led to the current recall at the Hallmark Meat Company in southern California happen every day locally.

"They use downer cows all the time," Gomez told Mike Rhodes in an exclusive interview. Gomez said it was common practice for workers in the southwest Fresno slaughterhouse to hit downed cows with sticks and eventually pick them up with a fork lift to get them onto the kill floor. According to Karen Stump*, who also worked at Cargill, "they would shoot the cow because it couldn't get up and then they would bring them into the kill room with a fork lift." Both Gomez and Stump said those downer cows would be processed and put into the food stream with all of the other cows.

According to a statement from the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the group that uncovered the southern California incident that led to the current recall, "downer cows must not be used for food-plain and simple. As the HSUS video shows, this is necessary to protect animals from suffering. As science has made clear, this is necessary to protect food safety. The practice of slaughtering downed cows is especially troubling now that the link between downed cattle and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), also known as mad cow disease, has been firmly established. Of the 15 known cases of BSE-infected animals discovered in North America, at least 12 involved downed animals."

* Steven Gomez and Karen Stump are not the whistleblowers' real names. photoPhotos and full story

12/11/14 Anti-Police Protests in Berkeley Swell Following Eric Garner Grand Jury Announcement   Police State and Prisons
12/11/14 Students and Community Members Pledge to Act Against UC Tuition Hikes   Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia
12/11/14 Santa Cruz Police Attempt to Sneak $250K 'Rescue Vehicle' Past Public   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
12/02/14 Mayfair Community Unites Around Issues of Health, Education, Labor, Food Safety   Health, Housing, and Public Services | South Bay
11/30/14 First Independent Media Center Kicked Off on N30 at Seattle WTO Protests in 1999   Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | International
11/30/14 Protests & Disruptions Erupt Nationwide After No Charges in Ferguson Grand Jury Verdict   Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism
11/21/14 Students Protest Tuition Increases, Class Size, Fewer Classes, Cuts to Services   Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/18/14 Indybay Journalist Assaulted by Leon Panetta's Security; Protesters Banned from Bookstore   Anti-War | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/18/14 Santa Cruz Biotechnology Charged Again with Violating Animal Welfare Act   Animal Liberation | Santa Cruz Indymedia
11/14/14 Rasmea Odeh Conviction Protested Across U.S. by Supporters and Human Rights Activists   Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice | Palestine | Immigrant Rights
11/13/14 Santa Cruz Food Not Bombs Shares in Solidarity with Those Being Arrested in Florida   Health, Housing, and Public Services | Santa Cruz Indymedia