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We believed that updated food laws meant our food supply was safer - now comes news of cancerous cows processed while the USDA inspector romances…


June 2014

Nel Liquorman, Health & Nutrition Editor


Last month, this reporter stumbled into a staggering 87.7 million pounds of beef processed from cancerous cows at Rancho Feeding Corporation of Petaluma, CA. The recall was not by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) but from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), an agency with the responsibility of inspecting food animals and the meat being processed at slaughter houses.


News reports read more like a trashy romance novel. While Rancho employees slaughtered cancerous cows, hid the warning signs by trimming off diseased parts, used a fake stamp of approval, and even replaced heads of sick cows with heads of healthy ones, the USDA inspector left the plant to be with her boyfriend, who was none other than the plant foreman.


Could this be a conspiracy involving Rancho owners and key employees? After all, they had the sick cows, they had fake approval stamp, and they had a plan. They even had a guy to take the female inspector off their hands so they could commit the crime!


Does this make you wonder what these people have learned from reports of bad behavior by people in government agencies that are under investigation? The VA travesty, the IRS scandal, the FDA failure to protect consumers; what does this say to those plotting smaller crimes involving government officials?


Hourly paid workers are unlikely suspects because selling worthless meat was only profitable for the company owners. The “plus” is that it was also a cheap way to dispose of sick cows.


But now consumers must worry about where the adulterated meat will go? In the past, so called distressed meat was considered to be suitable for pet food. Would you want your dog eating food that contained ingredients rendered from cancer-laden cows?


Predictably, Rancho Feeding Corporation has already been sold, and according to news reports, the former owners are keeping quiet while lawyers for the USDA inspector insist that the inspector was not connected to the recall.


Perhaps the USDA inspector wasn’t part of the plot, but at the very least, an inspector on the (taxpayer) payroll of a government agency was negligent.


Does another government agency, in this case the USDA, need to be investigated?


No less disturbing is news of co-mingling of beef that may have caused devastating losses to some innocent ranchers, whose cows were actually healthy and safe for human consumption, but due to what looks like criminal activity, meat from those cows got caught in the recall. This was not just a big recall, but a wide recall, as meat may have reached about 35 states.


Since our readers are pet food consumers, we know they will want to answers to the following questions:

  • Did the USDA require the cancerous meat to be incinerated?

  • Or, has the adulterated meat found its way into pet food?

  • If so, will a liquidator such as J D Closeouts get a crack at the disposal?

  • Or, was the ii contaminated food shipped to hog farms, thus into the human food chain.

At this point, we have no answers, only advice. Don’t buy “close out” pet foods (or jerky treat) and when you eat pork, just don't think about the cancer-laden meat in the food chain.


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