The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Unhealthy Beef Shipped to Schools—With Government Approval

Feb 18, 2008

School districts across California stopped serving beef on January 31, after The California Department of Education warned school officials about meat distributed by Westland Meat Co.

A day earlier, the Humane Society of the United States had revealed a video showing “downer” cattle–animals too sick to stand or walk–being taken to slaughter with forklifts at a Westland facility. “Downer” cows are known to carry a high risk of mad cow disease, and their use for food is banned by both federal and California laws.

For years, eight USDA inspectors had ignored this reckless (and illegal) practice. Yet it took just one activist with a hidden camera only six weeks to show what was happening–and the fact that inspectors routinely approved “downer” cows for slaughter.

It comes as no surprise! For the last two decades, the U.S. government has consistently refused to test cattle for mad cow disease before they are slaughtered–which is standard practice in Japan and some European countries where mad cow cases have been seen. If few cases of this deadly diseases have been discovered in this country, it’s only because authorities weren’t looking.

How many schoolchildren–and adults–have already been contaminated with mad cow? How many of them will die? We don’t know yet–it can take as long as 20 years for the symptoms of this deadly brain disease to be seen.

What’s certain is that Westland has already supplied millions of pounds of meat–including meat from sick cows–to schools and some large fast-food chains in California. And who can really believe that Westland is the only company doing this?

To protect and increase profits, company and government officials have put millions of people in danger of a deadly disease. Blood-sucking criminals!