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Metal Shards and Much Worse In Your Food? What Happens When the Food Industry Regulates Itself

In a move that may prove deadly for workers and consumers, the federal government is washing its hands of slaughterhouse inspection and encouraging industry self-regulation.

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Both Wyatt and public health veterinarian Deena Gregory reported that they witnessed a Seaboard employee hit an, "animal hard in the face and nose 8-12 times," but David Ganzel, the District Veterinary Medical Specialist, deemed the acts was not "egregious," hence not a violation, said Wyatt in his congressional testimony. Seaboard employees began to snicker when Wyatt walked past.

Food Safety and Inspection Service officials overtly served plant managers not the government, food consumers, employees or the animals. Wyatt was instructed not to file violation reports--not to do his job--and official reports were sanitized and deleted. In one report of an employee abusively throwing an animal, the word “threw” was changed to “dropped” he testified.

Shortly after testifying to Congress in 2010, Dean Wyatt died of brain cancer at the age of 59. He was a second-generation federal meat inspector and told Congress that, “Public service is in my blood.” His father died in the “line of duty,” he said, contracting a lethal pathogen at a turkey slaughter plant he inspected.

Martha Rosenberg is an investigative health reporter and the author of "Born With a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp the Public Health (Random House)."

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