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Recall raises questions




If the recent recall of 143 million pounds of beef, four times the previous record, does not prompt a long-overdue update of the food inspection process, Americans should impose a vote-free diet on lawmakers who ignore the risks of the status quo.

The recall was issued several weeks after the Humane Society released a disturbing undercover video showing slaughterhouse workers using forklifts and other means to prod cows that were too ill and weak to stand.

Besides the cruelty portrayed, the video raises questions about the thoroughness of U.S. Department of Agriculture inspections. …

The Food and Drug Administration, which checks 80 percent of the nation’s food supply, receives about 20 percent of the food safety budget. The USDA gets the rest of the money, but the recent recalls have raised questions about whether the money is being used wisely or if it’s sufficient to do the job.

A complete overhaul of the inspection system isn’t likely in an era of tight budgets. But – as we and others have repeatedly said, recall after recall – federal officials need to begin the work now. A 143 million-pound recall certainly shouldn’t be treated as a routine matter.

– Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Sarasota, Florida


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