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

10/23/14 Deupty Chief of Police Steve Clark Leads Suspicious Political Smear Campaign   Government & Elections | Santa Cruz Indymedia
10/23/14 Ocean Acidification, Climate Change and Poaching Threaten Pacific Coast Snail Habitat   Environment & Forest Defense | International
10/23/14 District Attorney to Admits Insufficient Evidence for Prosecution in 2013 Trayvon Arrests   Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
10/23/14 EastWest Newspaper Warns of Development Coming in Oakland's Coliseum Area Specific Plan   Health, Housing, and Public Services | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Government & Elections
10/22/14 Rojava Revolution & the Kurdish Resistance in Kobane Fighting Off Brutal Siege by ISIS   Anti-War | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | International | Iraq
10/21/14 SCPD Officers Beat and Tase Man Exhibiting Erratic Behavior Near Court House   Police State and Prisons | Santa Cruz Indymedia
10/15/14 Massive Pollution of Water Supply Shows Big Oil's Power in California   Environment & Forest Defense | Central Valley
10/15/14 UCSC Student Withdraws from University Citing UC's Connection to War Profiteering   Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia
10/14/14 Petition Initiated at UCSC Due to Inadequate Housing Also Opposes Upper Campus Expansion   Education & Student Activism | Santa Cruz Indymedia
10/07/14 Community Members Oppose Construction of New McDonald's in Downtown Watsonville   Health, Housing, and Public Services | Santa Cruz Indymedia
10/07/14 Legal Settlement Allows Park Service Marine Wilderness Restoration to Begin at Point Reyes   Environment & Forest Defense | North Bay / Marin