Early February was not a good time to be an American carnivore.
First, on Saturday, February 8th, Rancho Feeding Co. of Petaluma, CA, announced it was recalling 8.7 million pounds of beef carcasses and cuts. That’s virtually every pound of the company’s 2013 throughput.
The reason for the recall, explained the February 11th Los Angeles Times, was that federal regulators “said (the) plant ‘processed diseased and unsound animals’ without a full federal inspection,” making it products “unsound, unwholesome or otherwise… unfit for human food…”
How does the meat from more than 11,500 head of cattle get recalled under that stomach-turning description and not one meat inspector from either California or the U.S. Department of Agriculture know about it until almost every ounce has been sold and consumed?
I don’t know and neither does USDA; its Office of Inspector General, USDA later announced, will investigate the stinking mess and get back to us.
Great. Updated plans on how to build a gate now that the cows are gone—again.
News for the Meat Gang didn’t get any better Monday, February 10th, when a New York Times front page story carved up an unknown-outside-the-Beltway, no-person non-profit operation named the Employment Policies Institute.
EPI, reported the Times, is an “official-sounding,” mostly opaque arm of Berman and Company, an advertising and public relations firm owned by Richard B. Berman. EPI’s only function, it detailed, is “to shape hot-button political debates” “with the gloss of research.”
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