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article imageAfter scandals, is America planning to open a horse meat factory?

By Micki Hogan     Mar 1, 2013 in World
For the first time since 2007 the USDA may allow the opening of a horse meat slaughtering house. If it is approved the factory would process and make available horse meat for human consumption.
The announcement reported by the New York Times came only weeks after the media eruption of reports involving restaurants and top chains world wide that tested positive for horse meat in products described as beef.
Horse meat cannot be produced for human consumption unless it is inspected by the U.S.D.A. The company in question, owned by the Valley Meat Company in New Mexico sued the U.S.D.A over the lack of inspectors available to inspect the horses before slaughter. The suit was over the department’s failure to offer inspection of horse meat. They say it violated the Federal Meat Inspection Act. The ruling stated that the law directs the agriculture department to appoint inspectors to examine “all amenable species” before they enter a slaughtering facility.
A spokesman for the agriculture department stated that several companies were urging the need for inspectors and pushed to have the inspection of slaughter horses reinstated. He also was very stern about the fact the companies will have to meet strict guidelines and meet all approved necessary technical requirements and the F.S.I.S. must complete its inspector training.
He said at that point, the U.S.D.A would then have no choice but to allow the factory to begin production. Concerns have been addressed after the recent exposure of horse meat in food products sold by the companies Burger King,Tesco, Nestlé and Ikea. Collectively, the companies have pulled their food from store shelves in fourteen different countries.
Justin DeJong, a spokesman for the agriculture department said The Obama administration was urging Congress to reinstate an effective ban on the production of horse meat for human consumption that lapsed in 2011.
The Humane Society has petitioned the Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration in the hopes to delay and hope to stop all horse slaughtering for human consumption. They stated there is the strong probability of the presence of drugs like phenylbutazone, which is used to treat inflammation in horses.
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