Friday, April 18, 2008

No More Oversight Needed Says Official

Food safety official says no more oversight of slaughterhouses needed
By Jonathan D. Rockoff
Sun reporter
4:16 PM EDT, April 17, 2008

The Bush administration said today that the government doesn't need more inspectors and new technologies to police slaughterhouses after the country's largest beef recall earlier this year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has enough food inspectors after hiring more than 190 last year and videotaping meat plant operations would be costly and practically difficult to implement, said Richard Raymond, the undersecretary for food safety.

"It's not as simple as a camera," said Raymond, who pointed out that reviews of 18 plants providing beef to federal programs didn't turn up any the kind of mistreatment that prompted the recall in February. He also said the agency was "not stretched too thin."

His response angered House members, who said the recall of beef slaughtered in the Hallmark/Westland plant in Chino, Calif., showed a need for improvements. Read More

The debate continues on what Congress will accomplish in the beef recall aftermath. The problem will be that most of the politicians will want something done regardless of its effectiveness. Changing something just for the sake of change won’t do any good.

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