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May 24, 2004 | Stephanie Simon, Times Staff Writer
John Tarpoff knows his demand is illogical. There is no scientific reason for him to extract a sliver of brain from each steer he slaughters to test for mad cow disease. He kills only young cattle at his processing plant: certified Angus, 12 to 20 months old. Animals that young just don't get the disease -- at least, not at a detectable level. Testing every carcass is "highly unnecessary," Tarpoff said. Still, he's desperate to do it. But the federal government won't let him.
April 27, 2004 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Prosecutors opened their case Monday against self-proclaimed "Sausage King" Stuart Alexander by outlining the months the sausage factory owner allegedly spent flouting the law and threatening government health inspectors before he shot and killed three of them. Alexander, 43, faces three counts of murder in the June 2000 deaths of U.S.
February 18, 2004 | From Associated Press
A House committee on Tuesday questioned the government's credibility in the first U.S. case of mad cow disease, quoting three witnesses who denied Agriculture Department claims that the infected Holstein was lame. The worker who slaughtered the cow, the hauler who delivered it and an owner of the slaughterhouse all recalled seeing the infected animal on its feet, rather than it being the nonambulatory "downer" described by USDA officials. In a letter to Agriculture Secretary Ann M.
October 7, 2002
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's new labels are designed to help consumers figure out--at a glance--the exact organic content of the foods they buy. Only products in the first two categories, in which 95% or more of the ingredients are organic, can bear the USDA organic certification seal. This includes products made domestically and imported from abroad.
August 7, 2002 | Reuters
The U.S. Department of Agriculture said it may create a voluntary system to verify whether shipments of crops were genetically altered. The move comes as the U.S. begins market-opening talks with its World Trade Organization partners, many of which oppose or are ambivalent about biotech crops. Under the proposed industry-funded system, companies could choose to detail to the USDA how they keep products separate from gene-altered crops at all levels of the food chain.
December 7, 2001 | Bloomberg News
The U.S. Department of Agriculture halted imports of clementine citrus fruit from Spain because live Mediterranean fruit fly larvae have been found in stores in California, Louisiana, Maryland and North Carolina. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service indefinitely banned the sale and distribution of the Spanish clementines in states where the pest could survive.
October 31, 2001 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Minorities who work for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Central California told congressional staffers that they are routinely denied promotions. Most complaints Monday by members of the Coalition of Minority Employees were aimed at the Forest Service, the largest division in the Agriculture Department. Several speakers said they were held back from professional jobs despite being qualified or were rejected for loans.
July 24, 2001 | From Associated Press
Just when you really, really want an ice cream cone, the price is rising. But it's not summertime gouging by producers. The cost of milk fat, the principal ingredient in ice cream, jumped 71% during the last six months to $2.22 per pound at the end of June. The industry blames a new government pricing system, whereas U.S. Department of Agriculture officials point to a seasonal slowdown in milk production.
March 31, 2001 | From Reuters
With suspected cases of foot-and-mouth disease in North Carolina, the United States on Friday stepped up efforts against the highly contagious disease by banning imports of used farm equipment from nations with the virus. U.S. officials said a handful of pigs suspected of carrying foot-and-mouth disease in a North Carolina slaughterhouse facility tested negative. Two other pigs in a neighboring county also were being tested as a precaution.
March 28, 2001 | Associated Press
All 260 sheep suspected of having been exposed to a form of "mad cow" disease have been killed, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Tuesday. Before the flocks were sent to Iowa, four sheep tested positive for transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, or TSE, a disease family that includes bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, and scrapie, a sheep disease that doesn't affect humans.
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