Source: Martha Rosenberg – OpEdNews
Scratch the surface of a food offender whether they abuse the environment, workers, animals, the public trust or public funds and you usually find they are repeat offenders.
Nebraska Beef, the Omaha, NE-based supplier Whole Foods says it didn’t know its supplier Coleman Natural Foods was using (right) recalled more than 5 million pounds of beef to other customers in seven states weeks before the Whole Foods recall of 1.2 million pounds that sickened seven.
In 2002 and 2003, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) shut Nebraska Beef down three times for feces on carcasses, water dripping off pipes onto meat, paint peeling onto equipment and other hygienic embellishments.
And in 2004 and 2005, Nebraska Beef was cited five times for failing to remove potentially mad cow-infected spinal cords and heads from its products–changing the store’s moniker from Whole Paycheck to Whole Head.
Then there’s the pride of Arkansas, Tyson Foods, where the chicken is cheap and the fish are dead.
Tyson was barely off probation for 20 federal violations of the Clean Water Act in 2003 when it was called back to a Tulsa, OK courtroom for polluting the Illinois River watershed this spring.
In the last year Tyson was also fined $339,500 by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) for safety and health violations at its Noel, MO plant, charged by shareholders and Amalgamated Bank with spring-loading $4.5 million in options and forbidden by the Department of Agriculture from terming its ionophores-grown chickens “raised without antibiotics.”
No wonder Tyson is gravitating toward China which won’t notice a little chicken effluvium in its water.
Then there’s the former DeCoster Egg Farms, now Maine Contract Farming LLC, where nose plugs and flyswatters have been the de facto new neighbor kit for thirty years.
In August, OSHA cited Maine Contract Farming in Turner, ME with sending workers into a partially collapsed building at the same site where workers were found living in rat and sewage infested company housing and handling manure and dead chickens with their bare hands in 1996.
Last year, five years after owner Austin “Jack” DeCoster pled guilty to “the continued employment of illegal immigrants,” federal immigration agents arrested 51 workers at the DeCoster egg processing plant near Clarion, IA the site where an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) lawsuit says Mexican women workers were raped at knifepoint in 2001.
And then there’s Northfield, MN-based Holden Farms Inc., which let 400 sows and an undetermined amount of piglets burn to death at its Dexter, MN facility in July–just a year and a half after 5,000 trapped pigs burned to death at its Northfield operation while firemen were unable to breach the confinement structures used on factory farms.
Read entire story here