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From: Myra Nissen (myracycl@inreach.com)
Date: Fri Aug 25 2000 - 11:02:06 EDT

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    attached mail follows:

    from Public Citizen

    USDA: Just Say No to Rotten Meat

    A proposed change to the meat inspection process will make
    it easier for diseased poultry, beef and pork to make it to your table. But
    the comment period for this change is closing on August 29th, so it is
    critical that you act quickly.

    For years, federal food safety inspectors have been stationed at meat
    packing facilities to ensure the safety of the end product. Currently USDA
    inspectors reject any meat that they deem unfit for human consumption
    including meat from diseased animals. It does not matter if the disease in
    question can be transferred to humans, it is simply considered unwholesome
    to allow people to eat diseased meat. But now, the USDA is proposing to
    lower the standards for meat considered "wholesome" and safe to eat.

    The USDA proposed a rule that would define meat from animals with cancer,
    certain types of pneumonia, glandular swellings or lymphomas, sores,
    infectious arthritis, and diseases caused by intestinal worms as safe for
    human consumption. This change would classify tumors and open sores as
    "aesthetic problems", which permits the meat to get the government's
    seal of
    approval. The new rule would allow meatpacking plants to remove the diseased
    portion of the meat and process the rest without the consumer ever knowing
    the difference.

    Urge Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman to maintain the food quality and
    inspection standards that currently exist and not allow diseased meat and
    poultry to be marketed as "wholesome" and safe to eat. His e-mail
    address is Daniel.Glickman@usda.gov.

    For more information, check out Public Citizen
    Web site at http://www.citizen.org.

    Smiling Seriously,

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