Agriculture secretary's reassurance rings hollow in light of current industrial beef processing
U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer recently assured Americans that USDA inspectors check "every single" processed American beef carcass. Charitably put, his statement is highly misleading. USDA inspections are perfunctory and fall far short of checks performed by other countries' meat watchdogs.
The issue arose after South Korea agreed this April to lift most of the restrictions it had placed on U.S. beef imports. That prompted intense protests by South Koreans who say they fear mad cow disease in U.S. beef. They want their government to negotiate a tougher deal or to scrap it.
In Texas last week touring meat processing plants, Secretary Schafer defended domestic meats as safe. Read More
There are never a shortage of people that like to say that some segments of agriculture are too big, move too fast, and are too cruel. What they fail to give us is what solution they would like to see. What chain speed would they like and how many animals are too many? This article seems to be a typical editorial because they make blanket claims against our industry about how we feed and raise our livestock without presenting any substantial reporting of specifics. The story of American agriculture is a great one and articles like this serve as a reminder of our duty to tell it.