Unformatted text preview: he changes as the most sweeping reform of the federal
government’s food safety policies since the days of Theodore Roosevelt. The USDA plan, however, had been significantly watered down
during negotiations with the meatpacking industry and Republican members of Congress. The new system would shift many food safety tasks
to company employees. The records compiled by those employees — unlike the reports traditionally written by federal inspectors — would
not be available to the public through the Freedom of Information Act. And meatpacking plants would not be required to test for E. coli
0157:H7, a pathogen whose discovery might lead to immediate condemnation of their meat. Instead, they could test for other bacteria as a
broad measure of fecal contamination levels; the results of those tests would not have to be revealed to the government; and meat containing
whatever organisms the tests found could still be sold to the public.
Many federal meat inspectors opposed the Clinton administration’s new system, arguing that...
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- Spring '08