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Biggest beef recall ever, company outed on cruelty

 6:21 am on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

It's bad enough that they didn't comply with Federal inspection regulations, but they used cruel means to bypass safety regulations:

The recall by the Westland/Hallmark Meat Company, based in Chino, Calif., comes after a widening animal-abuse scandal that started after the Humane Society of the United States distributed an undercover video on Jan. 30 that showed workers kicking sick cows and using forklifts to force them to walk.

The video raised questions about the safety of the meat, because cows that cannot walk, called downer cows, pose an added risk of diseases including mad cow disease. The federal government has banned downer cows from the food supply.

N. Y. Times Story [nytimes.com]



 12:26 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

*** I am in NO way trying to justify the actions of this company

We, as consumers, drive this behavior. We demand "always low prices" then give no thought as to how the superstores get these low prices or why lay-offs are at an all time high and unemployment is on the rise. As consumers we need to make a consorted effort to not purchase items which drive this type of behavior.

*** I am in NO way trying to justify the actions of this company


 1:56 pm on Feb 18, 2008 (gmt 0)

I agree Limoshawn, there is whole "lowest bidder" mentality. <snip>

When I was growing up, the slaughter houses were all union places and there were highly paid people in there. It was impossible to get a job because nobody ever quit. I am guessing that this place was not like that.

[edited by: lawman at 4:50 pm (utc) on Feb. 18, 2008]
[edit reason] Topic [/edit]


 3:59 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

the fact that the article focuses on cruelty blows my mind, they were using cows to feed people that are specifically banned. Feeding people, especially school kids with cows that are banned and have a higher risk of disease is deplorable.

I love how they write up mad cow as no big deal, seems they changed their tune on that quite a bit.

that article is unreal, I find it frightening that the NY Times even published it.


 9:47 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't know which aspect of this story is more disgusting: the egregious health violations or the unspeakable cruelty. I refuse to support this sector of the economy. Some things in life are more important than a good steak.


 10:09 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

I don't want to get into a political debate here. I grew up on a modest sized corn/cattle farm in Iowa. I worked in two different packing/slaughter houses for a few months each.

It was by far the worst place I have ever visted. They were the worst two companies I have ever dealt with. They are just plain run by bad people as far as I am concerned.

> downer

I don't know the percentage, but there are several steers or pigs on every load that get shipping fevor or shipping stress. You can load a perfectly good load and after they ride 30-200 miles in a semi, a few come off in tough shape and lay down almost instantly. That is no big deal and is the majority of what they are showing in those vids. They have used forklifts to raise up cattle for years.

> article

Indeed - the fact they even dropped the word Jatar is deplorable. There certainly is no evidence that the cows had madcow. There have only been 2 confirmed cases in the US and those were contained to two cows. To insinuate otherwise is flat yellow journalism. As bad as the slaughter industry is - the publishing industry is even worse. They have yet to find any contaminated beef.

...and we though blogs were bad.


 10:20 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

>> "showed workers kicking sick cows and using forklifts to force them to walk."

God forbid you kick them...killing them 2 minutes later it's OK though. Is just me or there is a disconnect? Personally, I love meat (let's leave it with that)


 10:23 pm on Feb 19, 2008 (gmt 0)

The part that gets me is "this is some kind of isolated incident". If they had so much as a clue as to how common that was...whew.

You know these computers have reminder settings on them. Journalists have one on their computers set for every couple of years to "run another slaughterhouse" story.

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