USDA is kindly helping the meat industry butcher its own public image. As expected, the gun is pointed at the collective foot behind closed doors.
Under pressure from the food industry, the Agriculture Department is considering a proposal not to identify retailers where tainted meat went for sale except in cases of serious health risk, The Associated Press has learned.
Had that been the rule in place last month, consumers would not have been told if their supermarkets sold meat from a Southern California slaughterhouse that triggered the biggest beef recall in U.S. history.
The plan is being considered as the USDA puts the final touches on a proposed disclosure rule. It had lingered in draft form for two years until getting pushed to the forefront in February, when 143 million pounds of beef were recalled by Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. in Chino, Calif., after undercover video by an animal-rights activist showed workers abusing crippled cows.
Reminds us of Monsanto's flopped advocacy program to get state legislatures to "ban" the use of bovine growth hormone-free milk labels. Time to call in Wal-Mart strike.