Agriculture Dept. says ‘NO’ to request by Congress for full disclosure on beef recall
March 6, 2008
Lawmakers pressured Agriculture Department officials today to disclose which retailers sold meat that was recently recalled in the nation’s largest beef recall.
Richard Raymond, the department’s undersecretary for food safety, told a House panel that the information is proprietary and can’t be disclosed. He said that 10,000 consignees — from producers to retail establishments — received the potentially tainted meat, but he couldn’t reveal which ones.
Democratic lawmakers said that was unacceptable.
The Agriculture Department proposed a rule change two years ago that would allow disclosure of retailers that receive recalled beef, but the rule still hasn’t been finalized. Democratic lawmakers contended that the rule was being delayed by the Bush administration.
To date, of the 50.3 million pounds of Westland/Hallmark product in the federal food and school nutrition programs, 31 million pounds have been consumed, 13.9 million pounds are on hold, and 6.5 million pounds are being traced, according to USDA. “Downer” cattle pose a higher risk of E. coli, salmonella, and Mad Cow disease.
For a list of recalled products go to: http://www.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/02/17/usdabeef.recall.list/index.html?iref=newssearch