Fast Food Nation

The companies that manufactured hamburger patties for

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Unformatted text preview: d antipathy to any government regulation that might lower profits. “There is no limit to the expense that might be put upon us,” the Beef Trust’s Wilson said in 1906, arguing against a federal inspection plan that would have cost meatpackers less than a dime per head of cattle. “[Our] contention is that in all reasonableness and fairness we are paying all we care to pay.” During the 1980s, as the risks of widespread contamination increased, the meatpacking industry blocked the use of microbial testing in the federal meat inspection program. A panel appointed by the National Academy of Sciences warned in 1985 that the nation’s meat inspection program was hopelessly outdated, still relying on visual and olfactory clues to find disease while dangerous pathogens slipped past undetected. Three years later, another National Academy of Sciences panel warned that the nation’s public health infrastructure was in serious disarray, limiting its ability to track or prevent the spread of newly emerging pathogens. Without...
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