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From: TSS (
Subject: Re: USDA's RULES TO FIGHT MAD COW VIOLATED (Union says safe practices IGNORED)
Date: December 22, 2004 at 6:44 am PST

In Reply to: Re: USDA's RULES TO FIGHT MAD COW VIOLATED (Union says safe practices IGNORED) posted by TSS on December 21, 2004 at 2:09 pm:

Food Safety
Union head charges that SRM regulations are ineffective

by Pete Hisey on 12/22/04 for

A former FSIS meat inspector has charged that some beef processors may be inadvertently allowing nerve tissue associated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy into the nation's food supply.

A letter from Stan Painter, chairman of the National Joint Council of Food Inspection Locals, which represents about 5,000 food inspectors nationally, was released through Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group, charging that a flawed system for preventing specified risk materials from reaching the food chain is endangering the national food supply.

Painter tells that, based from complaints from five meat inspectors, some plants may be allowing cattle over 30 months of age to enter normal production without removal of specified risk materials – nervous system tissue associated with BSE.. By the time inspectors, who are not charged with determining age, notice mistakes the entrails and other products already may be blended in with parts from younger cattle, Painter contends. Painter says he has copies of noncompliance reports filed by these inspectors alerting their superiors to the potential problem.

In the wake of the discovery of a BSE-infected animal in Washington state a year ago, the USDA's Food Safety Information Service ordered that SRMs from cattle over 30 months of age be banned from the food supply.

Steven Cohen, FSIS spokesman, responds that plants are required to file plans with FSIS indicating how they will identify and remove and destroy SRMs. He notes that the NJC has not identified any specific instances of over-age cattle being processed. "Why have they not brought this up in meetings with leadership?" he asks.

Painter contends that while many processors and slaughterhouses have adequate controls in place, others may not, and may task inexperienced, lightly trained personnel with the job of determining age through use of dentition observations. "FSIS really has no guidelines for training" of these plant employees, he says.

Painter outlined the charges in a letter to William Smith, assistant administrator for field operations at FSIS, on December 8. In the letter, which was subsequently released to Public Citizen, he contended "plant employees are not correctly identifying and marking all heads and carcasses of animals over 30 months old. Therefore, plant employees and government personnel further down the line are unaware that numerous parts should be removed as SRMs and these high risk materials are entering the food supply."

Painter suggested that inspectors be authorized to verify the age of animals while performing other head-check functions to assure that animals over 30 months are correctly labeled. He asked for a reply within 10 days and as of December 21, had not received one.

American Meat Institute Foundation president Jim Hodges, in a statement, said, "There is no evidence to substantiate the news reports that U.S. meat plants 'are allowing brains and spinal cord from older cattle to enter the food supply.'" Inspectors, he said, have "complete authority to ensure that plants are complying with federal regulations. Allowing SRMs into the food supply would be a flagrant violation of federal regulatory requirements. There is absolutely no evidence that FSIS inspectors have engaged in such gross dereliction of duty. These facts suggest that these reports are motivated more by political ideology than the facts."

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE-Union head charges that SRM regulations are ineffective
Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 08:45:35 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."


> There is absolutely no evidence that FSIS inspectors have engaged in
> such gross dereliction of duty. These facts suggest that these reports
> are motivated more by political ideology than the facts."

R I G H T ... like it has never ever happened before.....

protect the industry at all cost, to hell with the consumers, that is what
you telling us there Pete......

Issued June 2000

Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products Inspection

1998 Report of the Secretary of Agriculture to the United States Congress



In March 1998, an FSIS food inspector and a Federal plant in New
York were each sentenced on one felony count of bribery. The
inspector was assessed a criminal fine of $17,000, assessed a $100
special assessment fee, and placed on probation for 5 years. The
inspector was also required to serve 6 months in home detention
and complete 200 hours of community service. The Federal plant was
assessed a criminal fine of $10,000, paid a $100 special
assessment fee, and was placed on probation for 5 years. The
investigation revealed that the inspector accepted money in
exchange for inspecting and passing downer (dying, diseased or
disabled) livestock that were supposed to be inspected by an FSIS
veterinarian and for allowing company employees to slaughter
animals and to use inspection brands when the inspector was not


Civil Enforcement Actions

The following Civil Enforcement Actions are a representative sample of
actions taken during FY 1998:

* In June 1998, an Illinois Federal plant entered into a settlement
agreement with the USDA and the United States Attorney for
violating the FMIA, PPIA, and False Claims Act (FCA). The firm
agreed to pay the Court-ordered civil penalty of $20,000. The
investigation revealed that the firm prepared various meat and/or
poultry egg rolls without the benefit of Federal inspection, sold
and transported the non-federally inspected products in interstate
commerce, and used the official mark of meat and poultry
inspection without authorization...



HELL, why not sell those 'DOWNERS' for our GIs to eat,
maybe that is why some got CJD;

In June 1996, a U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California in
Oakland, California, sentenced the former vice president of a closed meat
processing establishment and the establishment for violations of the
Meat Inspection Act. The official paid $250,000 as part of a
payment, received 5 years' probation, and was required to perform 1,000
of community service. The firm was ordered to pay $500,000 in
restitution to
the Defense Logistics Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense. In
three co-defendants were sentenced for selling adulterated meat to the now
defunct establishment. The co-defendants were convicted of illegally
slaughtering cattle and transporting and selling the adulterated meat to
the now
defunct firm, knowing the meat would be processed for resale and human
consumption. The former vice president admitted buying dead, dying,
diseased, or disabled cattle from the co-defendants and using the
meat to prepare meat products for commercial sales and for Government
military contracts. The investigation was conducted in 1993 by the USDA
Office of Inspector General, officials from the Defense Criminal
Service, and FSIS compliance officers. Restitution to the military was
initiated under the Affirmative Civil Enforcement program...


February 2003

Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products Inspection
2000 Report of the Secretary of Agriculture to the U.S. Congress



* June 2000. A USDA Judicial Officer (JO) issued a Decision
upholding indefinite withdrawal of inspection services from a meat
and poultry company located in Greenville, New York. The JO’s
Decision upheld an Administrative Law Judge’s (ALJ) Decision. The
decisions were the result of an administrative hearing before the
ALJ wherein USDA presented evidence to show that the company was
“unfit” for inspection service. The proceeding to withdraw
inspection was based on the company’s felony conviction of bribing
a public official. An investigation revealed that the company
provided money to an inspector in exchange for inspecting and
passing dying, diseased, or disabled livestock requiring
additional inspection by a Veterinary Medical Officer. The
inspector and company were convicted in separate trials. The
company has appealed to a U.S. District Court...


March 2001

Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products Inspection
1999 Report of the Secretary of Agriculture to the U.S. Congress



January 1999. The owner of an export inspection station was sentenced on
two felony counts for using simulated export certificates with intent to
defraud. The defendant was sentenced to 3 years' probation and fined
$10,000. The investigation revealed that the defendant fraudulently
exported approximately 3 million pounds of meat and poultry products to


* 2000
(Issued February 2003) [PDF
, 93 pp. 768 KB]
* 1999 (Issued
March 2001)
* 1998 (Issued June
2000; HTML text with PDF attachments)
* 1997 (Issued November
1999; PDF, 950 KB)
* 1996 (Issued
September 1997; PDF, 257 KB)

Public Health Service
Food and Drug Administration

New Orleans District
Southeast Region
6600 Plaza Drive, Suite 400
New Orleans, Louisiana 70127
Telephone: 504-253-4519
Facsimile: 504-253-4520

December 9, 2004



Mr. Alan O. Bostick, President
Sunshine Mills, Inc.
500 6th Street SW
Red Bay, Alabama 35582

Dear Mr. Bostick:

On September 7 and 14, 2004, a United States Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) investigator inspected your animal feed
manufacturing facility, located at 2103 South Gloster Street, Tupelo,
Mississippi. The inspection revealed significant deviations from the
requirements set forth in Title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, Part
589.2000 (21 CFR 589.2000) - Animal Proteins Prohibited in Ruminant
Feed. The regulation is intended to prevent the establishment and
amplification of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE). Because you
failed to follow the requirements of this regulation, products you
manufactured and/or distributed are misbranded within the meaning of
Section 403(a)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act).

The inspection indicated you manufacture products containing beef meat
and bone meal. Products that contain or may contain protein derived from
mammalian tissues, as defined by 21 CFR 589.2000(a), and are intended
for use in animal feed, must be labeled with the cautionary statement
Do not feed to cattle or other ruminants. This is required by 21 CFR
589.2000(c)(1)(i). Your firm failed to label your non-ruminant products
with this required cautionary statement. Specifically, the products that
contained protein derived from mammalian tissues but lacked the required
statement included your Happy Fisherman and Premier catfish feeds.
Under 21 CFR 589.2000(g)(2), failure of these feeds to bear the required
cautionary statement causes them to be misbranded under Section
403(a)(1) of the Act.

The above is not intended to be an all-inclusive list of deviations from
regulations. As a manufacturer of materials intended for animal feed
use, you are responsible for assuring your overall operation and
products you manufacture and distribute are in compliance with the law.
A copy of FDAs Small Entity Compliance Guide is enclosed to assist you
in complying with the regulations.

You should take prompt action to correct these violations and establish
a system whereby such violations do not recur. Failure to promptly
correct these violations may result in regulatory action, such as
seizure and/or injunction, without further notice.

We are aware you sent label corrections for the last shipment of each of
the mislabeled products. You also stated you plan [redacted] However,
you should notify this office in writing, within 15 working days of the
receipt of this letter, of the steps you have taken to bring your firm
into compliance with the law. Your response should include an
explanation of each step taken to correct violations and prevent their
recurrence. If corrective action cannot be completed within 15 working
days, state the reason for delay and date by which corrections will be
completed. Include copies of any available documentation demonstrating
corrections have been made.

Please send your reply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration,
Attention: Nicole F. Hardin, Compliance Officer, at the above address.
If you have questions regarding any issue in this letter, please contact
Ms. Hardin at (504) 253-4519.



H. Tyler Thornburg
District Director
New Orleans District

FDA Form 483
FDAs Small Entity Compliance Guide
21 CFR 589.2000

General Manager
Sunshine Mills, Inc.
2103 South Gloster Street
Tupelo, Mississippi 38801


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