I find a couple of things extremely interesting in this whole incident.
First is that I thought hormone implants, injections, or feed additives were
"not detectable" in carcasses? The second is why is IBP selling hormone
free beef to the Europeans when its obviously not based on "sound science"?
Did we once again catch the corps telling farmers one thing while selling
the consumers another?
>Are Farmland Industries a direct competitor to IBP in the beef market? If
>so its a pretty slick way to CYA and trash you competition at the same
>time. Also makes one wonder about the effectiveness of HACCP. Mike Miller
>>U.S. PURSUES CRIMINAL PROBE OF IBP UNIT RELATED TO FINDING OF CARCINOGEN
>>By Bruce Ingersoll
>>Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal
>>Published Wednesday, April 5, 2000 Page A3
>>WASHINGTON (Dow Jones) --Federal food-safety regulators are pursuing a
>>criminal investigation into bookkeeping irregularities at an IBP Inc.
>>subsidiary as part of a broader probe of how a banned carcinogen got into
>>Disorder in the meat-processing and shipping records at IBP's Bruss Co.
>>greatly complicated the government's efforts to trace the origins of an
>>illegal hormone known as DES in two shipments of beef to Switzerland,
>>Agriculture Department officials said.
>>"We've discovered some irregularities," said Beth Gaston, a spokeswoman
>>the department's Food Safety and Inspection Service. "There is an open
>>The matter could turn into a major test case for the government. So far,
>>evidence has been uncovered to suggest that there is a black market in DES
>>or any illegal use of the growth stimulant, which was banned by the Food
>>and Drug Administration in 1979. But regulators take any record-keeping
>>problems very seriously, because the government's new hazard-control
>>at the nation's meat and poultry plants rests on the integrity of each
>>plant's books and records.
>>Bruss officials couldn't be reached for comment. Gary Mickelson, a
>>spokesman for IBP, Dakota Dunes, S.D., said, "Based on what we've heard,
>>appears to be a paperwork issue, not a food-safety issue." Bruss
>>specializes in exporting premium cuts of beef for its parent, IBP, the
>>nation's largest meatpacker, and it processes and exports meat from other
>>packing companies as well.
>>Last summer, the Swiss government notified Washington that DES, or
>>diethylstilbestrol, which is also illegal in Switzerland, had been
>>in two samples of supposedly hormone-free beef.
>>Earlier this year, Swiss officials identified one of the tainted samples
>>coming from Bruss and the other from a Bruss supplier, National Beef
>>Packing Co. in Liberal, Kan. At the time, IBP's Mickelson cited Bruss
>>records as showing that none of the beef in question came from an IBP
>>But in a status report on its DES investigation, the Agriculture
>>acknowledged "concerns about the (Bruss) plant's record-keeping and the
>>accuracy of information relating to the original slaughter plant listed as
>>the source of the beef exported to Switzerland."
>>The report also raises the possibility that National Beef may not have
>>the source of DES-tainted beef after all.
>>"We've never seen any documentation that it was our meat," said John
>>Miller, chief executive officer of National Beef, a unit of Farmland
>>Industries Inc., Kansas City, Mo. "We believe we're the innocent party
>>got stung here."
>>While Agriculture Department investigators have been trying to unscramble
>>Bruss records and trace meat shipments into and out of the company's
>>FDA inspectors have been conducting an enforcement sweep throughout much
>>the Midwest and Great Plains, checking up on more than 120 feedlots, farms
>>and sale barns known to supply National Beef with cattle. The FDA also has
>>been looking into how much DES is being imported into the U.S.
>>The FDA hasn't caught any cattle producers using DES, nor has it found any
>>large shipments of the synthetic hormone being imported by veterinary drug
>>formulators and put to illegal use.
>>DES was widely used as a growth stimulant in cattle and other
>>food-producing animals until the early 1970s, when it was found to cause
>>cancer and infertility problems in the daughters of women who had taken it
>>to avoid premature labor and miscarriage. While outlawing its use in food
>>animals, the FDA continued to let veterinarians use it to treat dogs for
>>The Food Safety and Inspection Service stopped testing meat for DES in
>>1991, after failing to detect any cases of contamination for several
>>But the agency intends to resume testing it in veal and beef within a
>>The government has taken the DES matter "very seriously," but has yet to
>>unearth evidence of misuse said Karen Hulebak, a senior scientist at the
>>food-safety agency. "We believe the (Swiss) finding was an anomaly, and
>>that DES wasn't used in U.S. beef."
>>END - DOW JONES NEWS 04-05-00
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