Thursday, January 31, 2008

Meat from sick animals served at schools

The USDA is investigating Chino, CA company Hallmark after release of a video showing workers using illegal practices on sick cows to get them into the slaughterhouse. Federal and California law prohibits the slaughter of "downer" cattle - cows that cannot stand or walk - to protect the human food supply from eating the meat of unhealthy animals. Several studies have shown a correlation between meat from downer cows and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), more commonly know as Mad Cow Disease.

Employees at Hallmark were shown using forklifts to pick up and roll animals too weak to stand and, much worse, shooting high pressure water sprays into the nostrils of cows and repeatedly shocking them with electricity so they could get the animals to get up and walk past the inspector assigned to monitor that only healthy cows were slaughtered.

Beef from the Hallmark slaughterhouse is distributed by Westland Meat Co. (also of Chino). According to the USDA, Westland sold 27 million pounds of meat last year to federal food and nutrition programs including school lunches and meals for the poor and elderly.

For more info, check out the article in the LA Times at,1,7693001.story?ctrack=3&cset=true

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