Where’s the Beef?

March 6, 2008 at 12:13 am 6 comments

It’s the classic shell game…

Back on February 7, 2008 we posted on the Humane Society of the United States’ (H$U$) undercover investigation of the Hallmark Meat Packing Facility.  We noted that H$U$ waited four months to make the video tape of the abused cattle public and wondered if they might have ulterior motives. 

Looks like we aren’t the only ones who were suspicious.

, the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office told the Riverside (California) Press-Enterprise that it had never asked the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) to withhold the undercover slaughterhouse video from the public or from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. This refutes sworn Congressional testimony offered on Tuesday by HSUS Public Health Director Dr. Michael Greger.

The article states:

The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF), a food-issues watchdog group, said today that HSUS’s decision to withhold its video from federal authorities and the public increased the possible public-health risk from potentially contaminated beef used in federal school lunch programs. This morning CCF asked the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations to review Dr. Greger’s testimony and investigate whether he committed perjury.

During a hearing before the Subcommittee, Dr. Greger was asked directly why HSUS delayed sharing the video, (shot in October and November of 2007), with the U.S. Department of Agriculture until the end of January of 2008.  Greger reportedly answered that “We gave this evidence over to the local District Attorney’s office, the San Bernardino County District Attorney, and they asked us not to publicly release this information, to hold off so they could carry out their own criminal investigation into the animal cruelty that was witnessed. We complied with that request.”

When further pressed on the question by Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR), Greger stated that “They told us to wait on any kind of public release of this information … They asked us to hold on to the information while they completed their investigation.”

The Centre Daily Times also reports that:

“San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney Deborah Ploghaus, the lead investigator on the case, said she never made such a request. On Wednesday, Humane Society President Wayne Pacelle backed off Greger’s statement, saying he was uncertain if the prosecutors specifically asked to keep the footage out of public view.”

Just what exactly was HSUS uncertain about?  If the group had evidence in October 2007 that potentially unsafe meat was entering the U.S. food chain (including the federal school lunch program), why did the animal rights group sit on this highly inflammatory footage for over three months?

According to the Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) Director of Research David Martosko. “HSUS was clearly more interested in maximizing the political impact of its slaughterhouse video than in protecting ordinary people. And lying to Congress to cover up its apathy toward public health is truly despicable.

When the San Bernardino County Assistant District Attorney Dennis Christy was contacted by CCF, he stated:

I can say unequivocally that we never suggested in any way – in fact, we encouraged the HSUS to cooperate with, provide information to the U.S. Department of Agriculture … [and] we had some difficulty in preparing criminal charges, because of delays in setting up any interview with the Humane Society investigator at which USDA officers would be present.

Christy further added that his office’s criminal investigation had been hampered, in part, by HSUS’s desire to keep the USDA out of the loop: “We had some difficulty in preparing criminal charges, because of delays in setting up any interview with the Humane Society investigator at which USDA officers would be present.

Because of HSUS’s preference for sensationalism over protecting the public’s health, millions of Americans (including countless children) may have been exposed to meat that wasn’t fit for human consumption.

Apparently human children aren’t the sort of animals HSUS is interested in protecting.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Tracy  |  March 6, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Why criticize the HSUS? The deceptively named Center for Consumer Freedom wants to turn the public’s attention from the horrendous treatment of cows and potential danger to humans to the HSUS because the CCF gets its money from the meat industry.

    For more information: http://sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Center_for_Consumer_Freedom

    Like animals? http://www.chooseveg.com/vegetarians-save-lives.asp
    Wanna lose weight? http://www.chooseveg.com/obesity.asp
    Care about the environment? http://www.chooseveg.com/global-warming.asp

  • 2. Caveat  |  March 7, 2008 at 12:06 am

    I suspect that H$U$ waited until they were sure the meat had been consumed before releasing the tapes.

    Greater impact on parents, which will likely result in influencing them about their children’s consumption of meat overall and especially at school.

    H$U$ never does anything wihtout a motive, usually revolving around timing and/or fundraising.

  • 3. Audie's Gramma  |  March 7, 2008 at 4:03 pm

    Hey Tracy —

    Yes, CCF is an industry shill. Impugn their motives and you’ll gt on argument from me — but they happen to be right.

    But HSUS does nothing except promote its own fund-raising machine. The ideology it has latched onto is animal rights, but that’s more or less a historical accident. They are a fundraising mill, like many others.

    Why criticize them for withholding the video? Because they were witnesses to a CRIME that was ONGOING, and they kept it quiet until it was to their advantage to release it.

    If you or I did the same thing, we’d find ourselves in jail toot sweet. Knowing about a crime and covering it up is, ummm … a CRIME. I don’t see why anyone who commits said crime should expect to be lionized as wonderful.

    If all you care about is the horrific treatment of the animals, because you don’t eat them, or know anyone who does, or care about schoolkids getting sick — then you should be outraged that HSUS allowed this brutality to continue for months after they had the means to stop it.

    As for humanity, carbon footprint, etc. — my personally shot-near-home deer and locally purchased grass-fed lamb kicks your flown-in tofu casserole’s ass.

    If you think that soybean farmer wasn’t out gassing gophers and blasting bambi so that you could enjoy your tofurkey surprise, I’ve got some hard news, sweetie. Not to mention the manure and bloodmeal that got spread as fertilizer.

    Viva la food chain!

  • 4. David  |  March 8, 2008 at 4:18 am

    The Center for Consumer Freedom is certainly not deceptively named. However the HSUS certainly is deceptively named. The HSUS is an animal rights organization with the same goals as PETA. The HSUS simply goes about attaining those goals in a much more deceptive manner.

    I’ve always been amazed that the HSUS hasn’t been sued based on the fact that it isn’t a Humane Society and collects millions of dollars based on it’s fraudulent name.

    You can bet the HSUS delayed the release of the tapes for maximum effect — ignoring any possible danger to humans. Much to it’s AR agenda — the HSUS cares nothing for humankind — just like PETA!

  • 5. French Bulldog Puppy  |  May 31, 2008 at 2:06 am

    I would be scared to death to let my dog hang out with that giant cat.

  • 6. Candace Ware  |  January 25, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Janeen, do you know whether there were ever any consequences to H$U$ and/or Greger as a result of this perjury before congress? Or did they slither away scot-free, as is nearly always (inexplicably) the case?

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