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Widespread porcine epidemic threatens pork supplies, barbecue season

A dark cloud is menacing the cherished US summer season of outdoor grilling: a deadly pig virus that has been sweeping through farms and driving up pork prices. The porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus was first officially detected in the United States in May 2013. Now it is active in…

USDA privatizing meat inspections with program that allowed ‘chunks’ of feces

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) is planning to roll out a meat inspection program nationwide that will allow pork plants to use their own inspectors, but it has a history of producing contaminated meat at American and foreign plants. The Washington Post reported on Monday that documents and interviews showed…

Kansas meatpacker recalls 50,100 pounds of ground beef

(Reuters) – A Kansas meatpacker has recalled 50,100 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with the E. coli bacteria, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service said. The USDA said on Wednesday evening that routine monitoring had confirmed the presence of E.coli O157:H7 in the…

Audit reveals USDA paid out millions to dead farmers

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Agriculture Department paid out $32 million in soil conservation payments and crop insurance aid to dead farmers from 2008 to 2012, congressional auditors said on Monday, calling for stricter rules to prevent improper payments. In a report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said two USDA…

U.S. trial program would spy on Internet users to prevent animal abuse

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offered an unusual contract (PDF) this month, soliciting bids from private software developers for a trial program that would scour the Internet for detailed information on all animal sales, potential animal welfare abuses and other unlawful economic activities relating to animals within the U.S.…

U.S. ‘pink slime’ factories shut down amid outcry

Three factories that made so-called “pink slime” beef filler have shut down since public outcry about the ammonia-treated substance began last month, The Associated Press reported Monday. Beef Products Inc. spokesman Craig Letch told AP that only one factory in the country, located in Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, is still…

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