business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Washington Post reports that "a meat inspection program that the Agriculture Department plans to roll out in pork plants nationwide has repeatedly failed to stop the production of contaminated meat at American and foreign plants that have already adopted the approach."

The story goes on to say that "the program allows meat producers to increase the speed of processing lines by as much as 20 percent and cuts the number of USDA safety inspectors at each plant in half, replacing them with private inspectors employed by meat companies. The approach has been used for more than a decade by five American hog plants under a pilot program.

"But three of these plants were among the 10 worst offenders in the country for health and safety violations, with serious lapses that included failing to remove fecal matter from meat, according to a report this spring by the USDA inspector general. The plant with the worst record by far was one of the five in the pilot program."

The story is worth reading here.
KC's View:
Not sure which is more shaken. My confidence in the beef industry, or my confidence in the regulatory apparatus.

It's a toss up. Problem is, either way, we lose.