LOS ANGLES TIMES: The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the recall of 143 million pounds of raw and frozen beef from a troubled Chino meat-packing company, deeming it unfit for human consumption because of lapses in required inspections. Agriculture Department officials called this the largest beef recall in the United States, surpassing the ban in 1999 of 35 million pounds of ready-to-eat meat. The USDA said there was “a remote probability of adverse health consequences from the use of the product.”Problems at the plant first went public following the release of a video (SEE BELOW)showing treatment of animals at the plant between Oct. 11 and Nov. 9.
In the video, a manager is shown using a paddle to hit a non-ambulatory cow in the face and eye, in an attempt, authorities said, to get the animal to its feet to be taken to slaughter. By law, cattle that cannot walk are banned from the human meat supply. San Bernardino County prosecutors last week filed felony charges of animal cruelty and illegal movement of non-ambulatory animals against the manager, Daniel Ugarte Navarro, 49, of Pomona.
Earlier this month, several California lawmakers, including U.S Rep. George Miller (D-Martinez), called for an independent investigation into the National School Lunch Program, for which Hallmark was a top supplier. It was not immediately clear where the meat products are, but the USDA said that some Westland meat products were purchased for federal food and nutrition programs. The agency placed a Jan. 30 hold on all Westland products in federal outlets, including the National School Lunch Program, the Emergency Food Assistance Program and the Food Assistance Program on Indian Reservations, USDA officials said Sunday. MORE
[Artwork by RON ENGLISH]
WARNING: Disturbing hidden camera footage of a cow at the Westland/Hallmark Meat Packing Plant in Chino, CA, that is too sick to walk into the slaughterhouse on its own accord being poked in the eye and beaten about the head and face with a wooden stick, and others being plowed into the meatgrinder by a forklift. It is against the law for the meat of cows that are too sick to stand to be sold for human consumption.