Meat Inspectors: Packers Not Meeting New BSE Rules

Representatives from inspectors' union say meat plants continue to allow specified risk material into the system, despite USDA ban. Compiled by staff

A report in today's Washington Post quotes representatives from the National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals - a trade union representing meat inspectors - saying that meat plants are allowing specified risk materials to enter the food supply.

The first anniversary of the discovery of a U.S. cow infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) occurs Thursday, and according to the report the banned specified risk materials - including brains and spinal cords - are not being separated properly. The USDA disagrees with the union, reporting that no prohibited cattle parts were entering the food supply.

According to the report, the union says it has seen little or no change in processing practices in local meat plants. A union official notes that USDA's zero tolerance approach is "not being met."

As the anniversary of the BSE discovery nears, expect coverage of the issue to raise in mainstream media outlets.

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