Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

The USDA Food Safety Joke On Us

August 15, 2011 by  

The USDA Food Safety Joke On Us

The United States Department of Agriculture knew a dangerous form of salmonella was present at a Cargill, Inc. turkey plant but did not inform the company until after one person died and 77 others were sickened by the bacteria.

Cargill and the USDA announced the recall of ground turkey from the Cargill plant in Springdale, Ark., on Aug. 3. It was the third-largest meat recall in history and involved 36 million pounds of ground turkey.

The Wall Street Journal reported that USDA officials found three samples of the dangerous antibiotic-resistant salmonella Heidelberg during inspections last year and told the company about it. But when traces of the bacteria began turning up in turkey products in retail stores in March and a Federal agency traced it back to the Cargill plant in April, the company was not informed.

The government’s National Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring System found the strain during its inspections of the plant in May, June and July, but Cargill was not informed until July 29. Cargill continued to sell its contaminated products until Aug. 3, and the USDA finally suspended all operations at the plant on Aug. 5.

The USDA doesn’t have the authority the Food and Drug Administration has to order recalls, but can only request them, much to the chagrin of Federal authorities. In 1999, the USDA tried to shut down a Texas ground beef plant, but a Federal appeals court stopped it.

“We didn’t have the authority we needed,” said Dan Glickman, the USDA secretary at the time.

It appears this time the USDA, rather than working to prevent illness from spreading, decided to wait until someone died and dozens were sickened in an effort to gain that authority. Not that having more authority would help when its own standards allow for 49.9 percent of tests to come back positive for salmonella.

Federal and local authorities allow large farms and food processors to ship tainted meats and produce all the time, yet crack down on small farmers and food producers  and natural whole foods and supplements, as we have shown here, here, here, here, here and here.

And farmer Joel Salatin has outlined how difficult it is for small farmers in America in his book, Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal.

The idea of food safety in America is sick joke. It’s simply a corporate protection racket and a quest by a bloated bureaucracy for more power.

Hat Tip:

Bob Livingston

is an ultra-conservative American and author of The Bob Livingston Letter™, founded in 1969. Bob has devoted much of his life to research and the quest for truth on a variety of subjects. Bob specializes in health issues such as nutritional supplements and alternatives to drugs, as well as issues of privacy (both personal and financial), asset protection and the preservation of freedom.

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “The USDA Food Safety Joke On Us”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at

  • Michael J.

    After all, population reduction is the stated goals of the shadowy elites who pull the strings of our elected officials, so why be surprised?

  • Cawmun Cents

    GROUND TURKEY?That is why I dont understand.Why grind a turkey?
    Seems like idiocy to me.Whats next?
    Ground mutton?
    Why the need to grind?
    Is it cost effective?
    Can you disguise the use of untoward parts like they use in hot dogs?Consumer beware.
    When they find it neccesary to grind a bird,dont be suprosed if you dont get what you pay for.
    Or maybe you get something you didnt pay for?
    Either way…..ground turkey?-CC.

    • Michael J.

      Have you ever seen the movie “Soylent Green”?

    • Kinetic1

      Why grind? Turkey burgers, turkey sausage, turkey meatballs, the list goes on and on. Why grind beef? A steak or a roast is great so why bother with ground beef? Why should there be more than a dozen recipes?

      • Michael J.

        I guess the old addage is true, “You are what you eat”.

        • s c

          According to my sources, Michael J, when you’re in Washington the motto is “You are who you eat.”

  • Vicki

    “It appears this time the USDA, rather than working to prevent illness from spreading, decided to wait until someone died and dozens were sickened in an effort to gain that authority.”

    They KNEW and they did nothing? They decided to let someone die? If true that would be murder in the first degree. I think however the writer is just guessing (“It appears…..”)

    None the less, their failure to let people (the manufacturer, the public etc) know about the condition is criminal negligence. They don’t need any power to “shut down” the plant. Most/all good manufacturers would do so on their own. Dead customers don’t buy consumables.

    Should the manufacturer fail to fix the problem on their own a news report or 3 from a trusted government agency would quickly solve the problem.

    Note that behavior described in the article seriously undermines that trust.

    • DaveH

      Pick up a copy of the book “The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal your Money”.
      That may change your mind about the writer just guessing.

  • s c

    Some folks don’t like to hear it, but sometimes you get what you pay for and sometimes you don’t. The USDA is taking an indifferent attitude toward food safety inspections. It could be due to inspectors who are tired of playing games, and it could be that companies are tired of playing games with people who aren’t supposed to ‘play games’ when it comes to food safety matters.
    When people are supposed to be informed, they should be informed. We don’t need a food safety Pearl Harbor any more than we needed a ‘failure to communicate’ that let the Japanese do so much damage at Pearl Harbor in 1941.
    A government that specializes in tax, spend and wasting other people’s money needs to have agencies and departments shut down if they think they can’t be held accountable, folks. Make ‘em EARN that re-distributed money.

    • Michael J.

      In light of our current descent towards the Barakolypse, and the ever unfolding mass coruption VIA government deception. It’s hard to believe that food safety is more than a secondary concern to the USDA.

      • s c

        Michael J, first, the USDA’s inexcusable attitiude toward safe food issues results in death and illness and (second) “certain” people stand in line whizzing in the direction of anyone who criticizes the USDA. If the USDA did its JOB, there’d be no reason to criticize it.
        As it stands, those who defend the USDA are no better than the incompetent slime who make the USDA the worthless group of incompetents that it is.
        Government apologists have a serious defect brtween their ears. It’s their utter lack of common sense that prevents them from being part of the solution because they’re so used to being a willing part of the problem. Maybe social Darwinists need to be ‘fixed.’ That might motivate them to go buy some common sense and stop being professional knuckle-draggers.

  • jopa

    If the USDA made a recall that would be big government intervention and that is not what the Tea partiers want.Perhaps they decided to please the TP-ers for a change.I don’t eat ground turkey that I know of and try to avoid most ground products.That’s where they throw all the nasty stuff that doesn’t look too appealing to the eye, in the grinder and also into sausage.

    • s c

      J, you’d do better to go to whoever brainwashed you and break off one of your ankles in his or her rump. The USDA didn’t notify that company that a health problem was manifesting itself. HOW can you NOT understand something so SIMPLE?
      The USDA didn’t do its JOB. You are protecting the OFFENDER. The HEALTH of the PUBLIC was put at risk. You’re slamming the INNOCENT party. Ye gods, WHAT do progressives use for brains?
      Either grow a brain and a spine OR resign yourself to the idea that you’re just another piggie in Big Government’s pig sty. Now you have NO excuse for staying wrapped up in that utopian blanket, comrade. THINK!

  • jopa

    sc;Why should they notify the company they had a health problem?Why should we have to test their products on our dime?If they cannot manage a clean business with products that will not harm consumers perhaps they should not be in business.Good thing we have big government the FDA & USDA to protect us.

    • DaveH

      You just don’t get it do you, Jopa? They aren’t protecting us. They are protecting themselves and their Crony Capitalists. The last thing a food company wants is for the deaths of some customers to be traced back to them. A fine is much more desirable than losing their customers. With Government and their red-herring of “food safety”, the customers feel safer, but really aren’t any safer. They are poorer though, if they are taxpayers who must pay for the Bureaucrats’ salaries, and customers who must pay the higher prices necessary for the lost productivity at the hands of meddling Bureaucrats.


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.