Parker Waichman LLP

Record Beef Recall Prompts Lawmaker to Call for Changes at USDA

The Hallmark/Westland beef recall has led one lawmaker to propose a drastic solution to the food safety crisis facing the U.S.  Rep Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) wants to strip the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) of its food safety authority. DeLauro says that the twin missions of the USDA – overseeing food safety and promoting the […]

The Hallmark/Westland <"https://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/food_poisoning">beef recall has led one lawmaker to propose a drastic solution to the food safety crisis facing the U.S.  Rep Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn) wants to strip the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) of its food safety authority. DeLauro says that the twin missions of the USDA – overseeing food safety and promoting the country’s agricultural industry – have put it at cross purposes, and that a single agency is needed to oversee the safety of the US food supply.

The Hallmark/Westland beef recall involved 143 million pounds of potentially tainted meat, making it the largest recall in US history.  The Hallmark/Westland beef recall came just weeks after disturbing undercover video shot by the Humane Society showed workers at the plant using several abusive techniques to make sick animals stand up and pass a pre-slaughter inspection. These included ramming cattle with forklift blades and using a hose to simulate the feeling of drowning.  A USDA veterinarian is supposed to check each downer cow and make sure it’s not diseased, but according to the Humane Society that didn’t happen.    The government in most cases bars “downer” cows — which can’t walk or stand on their own — from the food supply. It implemented the rule in 2003 because an inability to walk is a possible symptom of mad-cow disease, which can cause a rare but fatal brain disorder. Because the Hallmark/Westland recall stretches all the way back to 2006, there is speculation that the meat packer was violating downer cattle rules for years.  How this happened when USDA inspectors where present at the plant on a daily basis is a question that still needs to be answered.

Yesterday during a conference call with reporters, DeLauro said it was time to change the country’s approach to food safety.  “Food safety ought to be of a high enough priority in this nation that we have a single agency that deals with it and not an agency that is responsible for promoting a product, selling a product and then as an afterthought dealing with how our food supply is safe,” DeLauro said.

DeLauro also said she was upset that about 50 million pounds of the recalled Hallmark/Westland meat was sold to the federal school lunch program.  DeLauro said she planned a pair of hearings for early March to examine why federal inspectors did not note the mistreatment and take steps to ensure that “the school lunch program does not become the industry dumping ground for bad meat.”

Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., who chairs the House Education and Labor Committee, said during the conference call that the U.S. Government Accountability Office had started investigating the safety of the National School Lunch Program, which is administered by the USDA.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Humane Society told the Associated Press that the organization hoped the recent attention to downer cows would prompt lawmakers to pass pending legislation in the House and Senate that would keep all downer cows out of the food supply. Federal regulations discourage slaughterhouses from processing downer cows into meat because they may pose a higher risk of contamination from E. coli, salmonella or mad cow disease, but the USDA still permits them to be used with an inspector’s approval

What Our Clients Say About Us
We have worked with thousands of clients and we appreciate them and their positive reviews. Here are just a few recent client reviews...
5 Star Reviews 150
Benita Rollis, paralegal, was very professional, yet compassionate. She made an emotional process bearable. Benita represented the firm very well. Michelle Josama picked up where Benita left off for the final leg of the process and is displaying the same professionalism as Benita. Thank you Parker Waichman for such a good experience during such an emotional journey.
Olivia Griffin
3 years ago
5 Star Reviews 150
I was involved in an accident back in 2021 and Jorge Luis Peniche one of the employees referred me to Parker Waichman LLP. They took care of me like I was family. Gillian and Aurora called me regularly to ask me how I was doing and made sure I went to my appointments ect. They went above and beyond to get me the best settlement possible for my injuries. I would definitely recommend anyone involved in an accident to go with Parker and Waichman.
Edwin Infante Leocadio
a year ago
5 Star Reviews 150
Nicole Marcano-Frias
5 years ago

Why Choose Us to Help You?

We Take Care of Everything
Your situation is stressful enough: Let us take on the deadlines, paperwork, investigation, and litigation. We'll handle every detail so you don't have to worry.
No Recovery = No Legal Fees
We work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning that we only get paid from a portion of your settlement or jury award. If you don't get compensation, you owe us nothing.
Decades of Experience
Your situation is stressful enough: Let us take on the deadlines, paperwork, investigation, and litigation. We'll handle every detail so you don't have to worry.
Respected by Our Peers
Judges, insurance adjusters, and fellow attorneys all speak highly of our skills, and we've earned numerous accolades, including a flawless rating from AVVO.
We Have Many Locations To Serve You
We have the experience and the skilled litigators to win your case. Contact us and speak with a real attorney who can help you.
Long Island – Nassau
Parker Waichman LLP
6 Harbor Park Drive
Port Washington, NY 11050
Long Island – Suffolk
Parker Waichman LLP
201 Old Country Road – Suite 145
Melville, NY 11747
New York
Parker Waichman LLP
59 Maiden Lane, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Queens
Parker Waichman LLP
118-35 Queens Boulevard, Suite 400
Forest Hills, NY 11375
Brooklyn
Parker Waichman LLP
300 Cadman Plaza West
One Pierrepont Plaza, 12th Floor
Brooklyn, NY 11201
New Jersey
Parker Waichman LLP
80 Main Street, Suite 265
West Orange, NJ 07052
Florida
Parker Waichman LLP
27299 Riverview Center Boulevard
Suite 108
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
Nationwide Service
Parker Waichman LLP
59 Maiden Lane, 6th Floor
New York, NY 10038