Friday, February 01, 2008

downed cows going to school

It certainly makes it easy to question whether schools have our children's best interests in mind. At least in this case, it's quite obvious they need to set the bar a bit higher.

I don't know how long the story will be online, so I'll past the text here. I applaud the Humane Society of the U.S. for investigating and sharing this information. Please try the link, but be forewarned, you shall see some disturbing footage.

Meat From 'Sick' Cows Could Have Been Sent to Schools

A nationwide animal abuse investigation and it all ends up in your child's school cafeteria.

The investigation showed a fork-lift being used to shove a “sick” cow into a slaughterhouse.

That video is now the focus of a USDA investigation into a meat company accused of supplying 'bad' meat to schools in 35 states— including Maryland.

Fox 5's Sherri Ly is following the school lunch scare.

Just a short time ago, the agriculture department released a letter saying it has indefinitely suspended the meat company involved from providing beef to its school lunch and federal food programs.

All this came after the Humane Society of the U.S. released disturbing video from a six week investigation.

Even more disturbing, the Humane Society says, is that meat from these potentially sick cows may have ended up in schools.

The Humane Society of the U.S. shot undercover video at a California meat packing plant and says workers routinely tortured downed or "sick" cows to get them on their feet so they could be slaughtered for human consumption.

The Humane Society says meat from this packing plant poses a potential health risk and goes to schools in 36 states through the National School Lunch Program – including Maryland.

Federal law bans downed cows in the human food supply because they may have a higher risk of e coli, salmonella contamination or mad cow disease.

The u-s-d-a says there is no immediate health risk but it is investigating.

The packing plant now says it fired two employees in this video and suspended a supervisor. In a statement the company president said “We are shocked and saddened by what we have seen today. Operations have been immediately suspended until we can meet with all of our employees and be assured these sorts of activities never again happen at our facility."

The Humane Society says what they found should worry everyone since an estimated 95% of Americans eat meat.

It's impossible to tell which schools may have gotten meat from this packing plant, because it's shipped to the state and not directly to schools.

The Maryland board of education today said it relies on the USDA to ensure food safety in schools and has no reason to believe there are any problems.

Parents in Virginia and the district do not have to worry as the Humane Society says they are not among the states or cities that receive meat through the federal lunch program.


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