Iowa Public Television


Law Makers Want to Know Where Recalled Beef Was Sold

posted on March 7, 2008

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic lawmakers are demanding that the Agriculture Department tell the public which retailers sold meat that was swept up in the nation's largest beef recall.

Some 10,000 consignees, from producers to retail establishments, received the potentially tainted meat from Westland/Hallmark Meat Company. The California-based company recalled 143 million pounds of beef last month after the Humane Society released undercover video of cattle being abused, and cows that couldn't walk being prodded to slaughter.

The undersecretary for food safety told a House subcommittee that the information is proprietary and can't be made public. Democrats say it's unacceptable for consumers not to know where the meat went. The cattle are at high risk for E. coli, salmonella and other diseases.

The Bush administration has opposed publicizing retailers' names in meat recalls, but the Agriculture Department proposed a rule change two years ago that would allow such disclosure. The rule still hasn't been finalized.

Tags: agriculture animals bacteria beef Congress diseases food safety government livestock meat news salmonella USDA