The Constant Beef With Industry

6 12 2007

Beef with Industry

This New York Times piece came out today, just three days after the USDA closed hearing public comments on a proposed rule for mandatory sterilization of leafy green vegetables to combat e coli outbreaks (see post below). The critical issue these produce farmers face is not how to sterilize their harvest, but prevent the contaminated run-off from factory farm concentration camps and slaughterhouses which proliferate the harmful e coli strain.

Acknowledging that there’s a serious and expensive problem by the meat industry itself is a step in the right direction, hopefully. But it’s still very deranged. How can anything good possibly come from practices like this one described in the Times article: “After the head is removed and before the animal is gutted, the carcass is sprayed with a mild acid wash, again to reduce the level of microbes. Besides removing the hide, one of the most critical steps to prevent E. coli 0157:H7 comes when the animal is eviscerated and its internal organs are removed.” And then of course, it’s the animals’ fault for being so filthy. Here’s a history lesson from Dean Danilson, Tyson’s VP of “food safety”: “Taking a dirty animal and turning it into food — from the time of the cave man, that has not been an easy process.” Why is that exactly? Were cavemen living next to a Tyson factory in rural Alabama  where 100,000 birds per day are plucked from their filthy cages and slaughtered instead of out hunting  low risk animals in the wild? – JE

Read the rest of the  article here.

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