Diet & Health

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, June 1993:

The USDA on May 5 announced
that it will begin requiring labels on raw
meat and poultry to include cooking and
handling instructions, explaining how to
prevent health hazards such as the growth of
E:coli bacteria, which in January and
December killed four children who had just
eaten undercooked hamburgers. The label-
ing rules are to be formally proposed by
August 15. The new requirement comes in
settlement of a lawsuit brought by Beyond
Beef and the parents of one of the January
victims. U.S. trade representative Mickey
Kantor meanwhile denied in a series of press
releases and public statements that such
strengthened food labeling laws could be
overturned under that General Agreement on
Trade and Tariffs and/or the North American
Free Trade Agreement, as alleged obstacles
to international commerce. Last year, the
two agreements were invoked to overturn the
use of U.S. dolphin protection legislation to
exclude imports of tuna netted “on dolphin,”
at considerable cost in dolphin lives.

Honeymooning at Disney World
in early May, Jeff Dorson and Dana Dell of
Legislation In Support of Animals were so
delighted to find soy burgers sold there that
they gave the management a Golden Heart
Award. The vegan burgers were added to the
menu only two days before Dorson and Dell
arrived. Aware that animal lovers are the sin-
gle largest Disney constituency, Disney
World has made a concerted effort to please
the animal protection community since 1989,
when several senior staffers were arrested for
massacring a flock of federally protected
black vultures to keep them from bombing
visitors with their droppings. Disney World
was subsequently disciplined by the
American Association of Zoological Parks
and Aquariums, rebuked by the National
Audubon Society, picketed and boycotted by
numerous animal rights groups, and obliged
to pay a substantial sum to settle 16 state and
federal cruelty charges.
After five years of virtual silence
on farm issues, the Humane Society of the
U.S. has unveiled a campaign against factory
farming. HSUS launched a highly visible
postcard campaign against what it called “the
breakfast of cruelty”––bacon and eggs––in
1986, but allowed it to wither in 1988 after
catching intensive flak from the pork and
poultry lobbies. Eighteen months ago,
HSUS appeared to have tentatively aligned
itself with the Beyond Beef Coalition assem-
bled by crusading author Jeremy Rifkin, but
was not involved by the time the coalition
went public.
5 A Day, a two-year-old farm
industry coalition formed to promote eat-
ing fruits and vegetables, now boasts more
than 100 member organizations with a multi-
million-dollar budget. Most of the members
are corporate produce growers, but some
farming and retailing groups and even some
supermarket chains are included as well.
The USDA on May 20 closed the
Cornhusker Packing Company in Omaha,
Nebraska, for allowing feces to contaminate
cattle carcasses. The plant was featured but
not named in a CBS news expose five days
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