February 25, 2008

California beef recall sets back trade negotiations

As reported in International Herold Tribune, but isn’t it possible that in some countries this situation could have occurred and no recall would have been issued in the first place?

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer said Friday the nation’s largest beef recall has set back negotiations to ship U.S. beef to Japan and South Korea. Those markets closed to the U.S. cattle industry in 2003 after a scare over mad cow disease. Schafer said at a convention of meat packers and processors that he is hopeful trade talks will continue, but that the Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. recall has diplomats asking why the U.S. can’t ship safe meat. The USDA recalled 143 million pounds of beef from the Chino-based slaughterhouse after the U.S. Humane Society released undercover video that showed slaughterhouse workers there kicking and shoving sick and crippled cows and forcing them to stand with electric prods, forklifts and water hoses. Downer cows, or those too sickly to stand, are banned from the food supply because they carry a higher risk of mad cow disease and other illnesses.

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