Skip to comments.‘Slaughtered in the USA’: Labeling rule burns meat industry
Posted on 03/09/2013 12:16:22 PM PST by Sub-Driver
Slaughtered in the USA: Labeling rule burns meat industry By Ben Goad - 03/09/13 02:38 PM ET
A meat industry already imperiled by federal budget cuts is lashing back at the Obama administration following the release of new proposed labeling regulations seen as costly and unnecessarily onerous.
The new regulations, to be published Monday for public consideration, are meant to resolve last years finding by the World Trade Organization (WTO) that U.S. rules give American meat products an unfair advantage over those from Canada and Mexico. If the WTO violation is not remedied by May 23, Americas top two meat-trading partners could impose damaging sanctions in the form of tariffs against U.S. meat producers and packers.
The new rules amend country-of-origin labeling (COOL) rules enacted in 2009 to better inform consumers about where their food comes from. Industry groups oppose the rules because they have forced U.S. meat packers to take steps to segregate the products, driving up costs.
In light of the WTO ruling, the groups urged the government to scrap the rules altogether, through congressional action if necessary.
Drafted by the Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS), an arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the new regulations take the opposite tack, adding requirements that labels include information about where each of the production steps (i.e., born, raised, slaughtered) occurred, according to AMS.
The proposed rule would also remove the allowance for commingling of muscle cuts.
USDA expects that these changes will improve the overall operation of the program and also bring the current mandatory COOL requirements into compliance with U.S. international trade obligations, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.
The American Meat Institute (AMI) did not concur.
Only the government could take a costly, cumbersome rule like mandatory country-of-origin labeling (COOL) and make it worse even as it claims to fix it, " AMI president J. Patrick Boyle said in a statement decrying the proposal.
Government-wide federal spending cuts known as the sequester are already threatening to hit the meat industry. Vilsack has warned that federal meat inspectors would be furloughed if Congress doesnt restore or replace the $85 billion cuts. Meat packing facilities cannot operate without inspectors. That proposed rule would compound the threat, according to the industry. Complying with the new regulations would bring costs that would ultimately be passed on to consumers, Boyle said.
An absurd example of one of the proposed changes is this: a plant or grocery retailer that currently labels its product, Product of the U.S. would now have to change the labels on its packages to read, Born, raised and slaughtered in the U.S., he observed.
Beginning Monday, the public and interested parties will have 30 days to comment. AMS must consider all comments before the rule is finalized.
So, how do you think the labeling started? I don’t have direct evidence, but I suspect it was a conspiracy of crony capitalists using government power to limit or eliminate an innovative competitor.
That’s my personal experience with this kind of thing. Why is the current government mandated food label ideal?
Schechita (kosher slaughter) is supposed to be humane and cause a minimum of suffering. It involves severing the carotid arteries, trachea, etc. all in one swift stroke with a specially sharpened knife that has been inspected for perfect sharpness (no nicks in the blade) right before each slaughter. It must also be done by a specially trained individual. Basically, the animal should be "dead before they even feel the cut".
At the Agri-Processor plant in Iowa, they were caught on tape rummaging around with a hook in newly-slaughtered cows' throats before they even lost consciousness, to remove a certain bit of tissue. This was a clear violation of Jewish law. Also, some of the slaughters resulted in cows getting up and walking around with their throats cut, clearly showing that it was not done properly. Properly schechted animals should lose consciousness within about 30 seconds, NOT be trying to get up and walk, or actually walking.
I was always leery of Agri-Processors products (Rubashkin brand), and after a bit of research, stayed away from them. My suspicions were proven correct after the above scandal AND the illegal labor practice scandal.
Thanks. What you advised jogged my memory and is correct. Not being an expert on kosher procedures I assumed they were violated. Would the methods used render the meat non-kosher?
“Schechita” must be more like using a drone instead of waterboarding -
I have seen slaughter houses (meat processors) in KC with a big sledgehammer to the skull of a steer or a quick rifle bullet - I have seen animals hanging from a hook and throats slit.
Is there really any humane way to kill anything?
Can*t we all just feast on the strange veggie crud Moochelle talks about for kids while she stands at a weird angle for the TV cameras in Quasi-Afreekin* designer stuff - and then she has a huge cheeseburger, fries, and a shake.
OFF TOPIC STUFF of THINGS NOT TO DO:
1 - Swim with White Sharks
2 - Climb tall mountains in blizzard country
3 - Travel to Iran if you are a retired CIA or FBI agent
4 - Listen to John McCain about anything
I do remember being on the phone with a prominent rabbi while we both watched the secretly taped video of the cows with slashed throats trying to stand, and in one case, actually getting up and walking around. He told me that it did not look like any schechita he ever heard about or witnessed. It was horrible to watch, I had such tears streaming down my face (I gave up eating any red meat several years ago).
According to humane slaughter expert Dr. Temple Grandin, dead animals are not supposed to show more than random leg kicking. This cow was walking in a coordinated manner, it was just sickening. Also, instead of having the more humane walk-in kill box, this disgusting slaughterhouse had a drum which rotated the animal belly-up while alive, to make the throat area more accessible. I cannot imagine the terror of a large animal unnaturally confined in a helpless position. After the slaughter, the drum opened and the supposedly dead animal slid awkwardly down a concrete ramp. That is the point at which some of them tried to stand and the one that walked did. Even if I still ate red meat, I would shun this brand. I won't even buy their chickens. I personally consider this brand to be unkosher, and won't have it in my home.