Eating his words…

March 13th, 2008

Stolen from AP

Steve Mendell, president of Westland/Hallmark, the meatpacker disclosed as flagrantly violating health regulations by pushing downer cows to slaughter… How dense can they be? Methinks he’s suffering from neurological impacts of eating too much of his own beef:

The panel’s chairman, Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., asked Mendell whether it was logical to conclude from the video that at least two downer cows entered the nation’s food supply.

“That would be logical, yes, sir,” Mendell said.

“Has your company ever illegally slaughtered, processed, or sold a downer cow?” Stupak asked.

“I didn’t think we had, sir,” Mendell said.

Reminding him that he was appearing under oath, lawmakers asked him why he had claimed in written testimony that the abused cows where headed to be euthanized, not for the food supply.

“I had not seen what I saw here today,” Mendell said. He said the Agriculture Department had refused to allow him to see some of the undercover video shot by the Humane Society of the United States.

Stupak pointed out that the video has been posted on the Humane Society Web site.

There’s an interesting difference in the AP article in the Delaware News Journal and the one in the Mpls. Star Tribune.

Delaware News Journal:

Mendell noted that no illnesses have been reported from the recalled beef and the Agriculture Department has found no evidence of problems with it. Some 50 million pounds of the beef went to federal nutrition programs, mostly school lunches.

Mpls. STrib:

No illnesses have been reported, and Agriculture Department officials have insisted there is minimal risk. But Stupak noted that the incubation period for mad cow disease can be a dozen years or more.

Nowhere does the Delaware article mention the incubation period of mad cow disease. Given that incubation period, any statement that “No illnesses have been reported” is patently absurd.  That none have been “reported” may be true, but it’s misleading.  Mad cow wouldn’t be evident for quite a while…

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