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US: Bill to allow mandatory recalls by USDA

US Senator Tom Udall has introduced legislation giving the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) authority to initiate mandatory meat product recalls.

Under current law, the USDA does not have the authority to issue a mandatory recall of meat or poultry believed to be dangerous. The decision to recall or comply with requests from the USDA to recall unsafe products is left in the hands of food processors. This forces the USDA to engage in time-consuming negotiations with meatpackers before pulling tainted meat from store shelves, and it gives meatpackers an effective veto on recalls.

Udall first introduced the legislation in 2003.

“When the USDA cannot get tainted meat off the market swiftly, all our consumers are at risk,” said Udall. “This legislation will give USDA the authority to act quickly and decisively to protect the public.”

Source: Tom Udall website

Natalie Berkhout

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