Was There Cancer In Your Supermarket Meat?

A recent recall of about 9 million pounds of beef from a slaughterhouse in California may have been linked to the slaughter of cows with cancer. The questionable beef distributed by the Rancho Feed Corporation, ordered recalled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), reportedly was included in meat sold at Wal-Mart and incorporated in Nestle’s Hot Pockets.

The USDA will not comment on its investigation of the plant. But press reports suggest some of the cows being slaughtered were old dairy cows with eye cancer.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, “Rancho, we’re told, was slaughtering them, somehow after hours or in other ways where the inspector didn’t know about it. Because the carcass looked good, (Rancho) mixed it back in with other beef that it sold under its label.”

Other reports indicate that much of the meat subject to the recall has already been eaten by consumers.

“Those (recall) numbers make the USDA look good, like they’re doing their part,” Jake Dickson, a New York butcher and founder of Dickson’s Farmstand Meats, told the Village Voice. “But the amount of meat that’s recovered is a tiny fraction of what was recalled. That’s the myth of these recalls.”


Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.