April 24, 2018

House Amendment Authorizes $1 Million for Food Safety

The U.S. House of Representatives passed an amendment last week that would authorize $1 million for food safety investigations. The amendment was sponsored by Reps. Mike Thompson (D-CA) and Jared Huffman (D-CA) was spurred by the huge Rancho Feeding Corporation recall of uninspected beef. That recall in the spring of 2014 covered more than 8 million pounds of beef: all of the meat it processed in 2013. The uninspected meat was sold in 35 states and in Guam.

Beef CarcassThompson said in a statement, “with the Rancho recall, I witnessed firsthand the need for USDA’s inspectors to have more resources so they can conduct better and more efficient investigations. From the beginning of the Rancho recall, public safety has been our number one concern. We can’t let food get out that puts the health and safety of the American public at risk. That is why it is important that the Office of Inspector General has sufficient resources so they can do their job and ensure our food is safe.”

Many of Thompson’s constituents took serious financial losses stemming from this recall. And the USDA has not been forthcoming with explanations for the recall. We do know that diseased cows were processed without federal inspection, but we don’t know what was wrong with the animals. Rumors have ranged from the slaughtered cows having eye cancer to cows with BSE.

Retail stores that sold the recalled beef include Albertson’s, 7-Eleven, Country Market, Kwik Trip, Vons, Walmart, and Winn Dixie. For more information about the recall, including specific products that were recalled and establishment numbers, visit the USDA web site.

 

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