A U-S Senator from Wisconsin works hard to assure the American public that the beef supply is safe.
A video showing animal abuse led to the recent recall of 143-million pounds of beef from a California firm, and Democrat Herb Kohl is determined to prevent that from happening again.
"When things like this occur we know we have to redouble our efforts to make a good system even a better system. And that's what this effort is all about."
About a third of the recalled product went to nationwide school lunch programs, including in Wisconsin. The story got a lot of media attention, which Kohl says could help efforts to improve the process. The attention could be partly attributed to the concern of the impact on kids.
"Yes, but it was also the largest beef recall in history. So, the fact that it was school lunch is absolutely right. The fact that it was the largest beef recall in history is also an indication that we're talking about a big issue and a serious issue."
Kohl is working with the US Secretary of Agriculture and others to increase the efficiency of the inspection system, improve surveillance, and severely punish violators.
"So we need to do a much better job of enforcing inspection; we need to do a much better job of determining which animals don't belong in the food system because of their physical condition; we need to have much stronger penalties on companies that are not following the rules."
Kohl wants to mandate surveillance cameras at processing plants — they'd be watched at a central location. In addition to protecting the consumer, Kohl also aims to prevent other countries from again banning our meat exports.
NOTE: Last Thursday Kohl held a hearing with the U.S. Ag Secretary, the Humane Society, and the American Meat Institute.