Tag Archive: Mercy for Animals


Idaho governor signs Ag Gag bill: Now illegal to investigate farm animal cruelty


Idaho governor signs Ag Gag bill: Now illegal to investigate farm animal cruelty YouTube/Mercy for Animals

March 1, 2014

In Boise, Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter signed into law Senate Bill 1337 on Friday; now making it illegal to do any undercover investigations at any of Idaho’s factory farms reports ABC News.

The controversial bill will now make it illegal to film inside of facilities or photograph any abusive activity involving farm animals including and not limited to the unsanitary handling of food products as well as environmental violations.

Idaho introduced the legislation after Mercy for Animals, an advocacy organization which has successfully investigated a number of egregious cruelty violations to farm animals and the mishandling of food on farms throughout the United States, conducted an undercover investigation on the Idaho dairy farm, Bettencourt Dairies.

A cruel and heartbreaking video showed workers beating cows, kicking them in the face, and dragging sick animals across concrete floors with chains around their necks. The video was turned over to law enforcement where criminal charges were brought against three of the workers. One worker has since pleaded guilty to animal cruelty.

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Food Safety


2009 Peanut Butter Outbreak: Three Years On, Still No Resolution for Some

When Shirley Almer’s grown children describe their mother’s death just days before Christmas Day 2008, they say that the lively 72-year-old grandmother beat cancer twice, but she couldn’t beat peanut butter.

Clifford Tousignant’s family tells a similar story. The decorated Korean War veteran and devoted great grandfather fell ill from Salmonella in his peanut butter sandwiches around the same time. After struggling against the infection for weeks, he died in January 2009 at the age of 78, a year and a half short of his goal to outlive his father.

Almer and Tousignant were two of the nine victims who died in the 2008-2009 Salmonella peanut butter outbreak that sickened at least 714 Americans across 46 states. The outbreak, one of the deadliest and widespread in U.S. history, resulted in recalls of 3,913 different products made by 361 companies. It captured national attention and even attracted commentary from President Barack Obama, who said parents shouldn’t have to worry about their children’s peanut butter, something his daughter Sasha ate for lunch “probably three times a week.”

But more than three years later, many of those affected by the outbreak have yet to find any resolution.

Executives at the company responsible for the outbreak, Peanut Corporation of America (PCA), have never been charged with any crimes, though many accuse them of knowingly shipping contaminated peanuts to processors. The company has gone through bankruptcy and lawsuits, but some still say the individuals who called the shots at PCA deserve their day in court.

Food and Drug Administration officials first investigated PCA’s facilities in January 2009 and soon learned that employees had previously been ordered to ship peanuts with samples that tested positive for Salmonella after a second sample tested negative. (Contaminated batches can test negative if there is no Salmonella in the particular section that gets sampled).

According to inspectors, at least 12 samples from the company’s production chain were contaminated between 2007 and 2008, but PCA did little to clean their facilities or remedy the problem. On some occasions, PCA shipped out peanuts before initial test results came back positive for Salmonella.


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Chicken Council Denies Request for Access to Plants

by Helena Bottemiller | Apr 16, 2012

The National Chicken Council has denied Food & Water Watch lobbyist Tony Corbo’s request to work in a HACCP Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) poultry plant to better understand how the new program works.

Corbo recently wrote to NCC asking that the group make arrangements for him to work for a full week as a sorter in a poultry plant participating in HIMP, a pilot project that uses fewer federal inspectors, focuses the remaining inspectors on food safety tasks, and allows plants to operate with faster line speeds.

Food & Water Watch has sharply criticized a proposed rule to expand the pilot, calling the plan a privatization scheme that’s bad for public health. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service says the proposal will modernize the inspection system, save taxpayers millions, and prevent 5,200 foodborne illnesses annually.

“Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has repeatedly observed in recent weeks that most consumers do not know how their food is produced in this country. He is correct,” Corbo wrote to NCC. “Therefore, I want to learn first-hand how poultry processed with fewer government inspectors will lead to a safer and more wholesome food supply.”



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Update on the Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Nakaochi Scrape

April 15, 2012 By

The CDC has released more details about their investigation into the Salmonella Bareilly outbreak that has sickened 116 people in 20 states and the District of Columbia.

Nakaochi Scrape, which is tuna scraped from the bone and chopped, from Moon Marine USA Corporation is “the likely source of this outbreak of Salmonella Bareilly infections”, according to the government. The CDC interviewed 53 of the patients about what they ate the week before they got sick. Forty-three of them (81%) reported eating sushi.

This proportion is significantly higher than indicated in a FoodNet Survey conducted by the CDC for the years 2006 to 2007. In that report, on page 20, 5.3% of healthy adults reported consuming sushi in the past seven days.

Of those 43 people, 39, or 91%, reported eating a sushi item made with tuna, and 36, or 84%, reported eating a sushi item containing “spicy tuna”. Spicy tuna rolls are made with chopped tuna or Nakaochi Scrape.

Nakaochi Scrape looks like, and is, raw ground tuna. And when meat is ground or chopped, any bacteria on the surface of the meat is mixed throughout the entire batch. That makes raw fish made with this method, also called comminuted, very different from other types of sushi, in which the flesh is left whole.


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Footage of Illegal Slaughterhouse Prompts Arrest

by Gretchen Goetz | Apr 16, 2012
The owner of an illegal slaughter facility in Los Angeles County is behind bars after video footage showed him slitting the throats of two conscious animals before letting them bleed to death.
The clip, released Friday by Mercy for Animals, shows 25-year-old Roberto Celedon picking up a goat by its two right legs, pinning it on its back and cutting its throat with a knife before leaving the twitching animal to die slowly. A sheep then suffers the same fate on camera.
Celedon was arrested for violation of California’s animal cruelty laws. He is also being charged with violating the State’s Food and Agriculture Code, since his operation was unlicensed and failed to meet sanitation standards.
“Not only is this an important animal welfare issue, it’s also a food safety issue,” says Matthew Rice, Director of Operations at Mercy for Animals.


Equally as disturbing as the footage of these animal deaths is the fact that meat from the business was sold for human consumption.





Listeria Warning for Sub Sandwiches in Canada

by News Desk | Apr 16, 2012
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) and Les Aliments Deli Chef of Laval, Quebec are warning the public not to consume certain “Super Loaded Sub” Deli Chef brand sandwiches because the product may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.


There have been no reported illnesses associated with the consumption of the sandwiches.
The recalled “Super Loaded Sub” Deli Chef brand sandwiches are sold in a 330 g package bearing the UPC 0 56040 37452 6, an Exp/Best Before date MAY 18 and the Establishment number (EST) 318.


Dole Recalling Seven Lettuces Salad for Possible Salmonella

April 15, 2012 By

Dole Fresh Vegetables is voluntarily recalling 756 cases of DOLE® Seven Lettuces Salad for possible Salmonella contamination. No illnesses have been reported in connection with the consumption of this product.

Product details:

  • Dole® Seven Lettuces Salad
  • UPC code number 71430 01057
  • Product codes 0577N089112A and 0577N089112B
  • Use-by date of April 11, 2012


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Allergen Alert


Allergen Alert: Milk in Taco Shells

by News Desk | Apr 16, 2012
Mission Foods has recalled its Taco Dinner Kits distributed by Kroger, Winn-Dixie, Hannaford and Food Lion because they may contain milk, an allergen not included on the label.


No adverse reactions have been reported to date in connection with the Taco Dinner Kit products.
People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume products that contain milk.
The recalled products were distributed by retail grocery stores in the following states:


Articles of Interest



Magazine Cautions Against 10 ‘Dirtiest’ Foods

by Dan Flynn | Apr 16, 2012
The popular Men’s Health magazine is the latest to weigh in with a list of dangerous foods, along with information on how to increase their safety if you are still inclined to eat them.
The Men’s Health list includes the 10 most often contaminated foods that are likely to be popular with its readers. The magazine claims to have looked at incidents of foodborne illnesses by the various carriers in order to come up with the list of the 10 dirtiest.  The list includes:


– Chicken
– Ground beef
– Ground turkey
– Raw oysters
– Eggs
– Cantaloupe
– Peaches
– Prepackaged lettuce
– Cold cuts
– Scallions
Men’s Magazine reports that 200,000 people are sickened per day, according to official estimates by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.
But it says New York University’s Philip Tierno, author of “The Secret Life of Germs” figures the true rate is about 800,000 a day when sickness to every food virus, bacteria and toxin is counted.

This list of dirtiest foods is far from unique.  Various publications and organizations have in recent years come up with their lists of the “most dangerous” foods and ingredients.


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[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Food Safety

Gov. Dept. Works With Major Corporation to Hide Animal Abuse

U.S. Government Supports CAFOS Over Small Family Farms

As reported by ABC News, Nathan Runkle, executive director of Mercy for Animals, stated:

“It is deeply troubling that a governmental agency that is entrusted with monitoring and overseeing agriculture and food production is so corrupt that it’s in bed with the very corporate interests that were documented abusing and neglecting animals. The fox apparently is guarding the henhouse.”

Indeed, the U.S. government has a history of supporting these industrial confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), both by looking the other way when abuse or contamination occurs, and by directly subsidizing cheaply produced beef, and corn and soy used for feed.

As it stands, 2 percent of U.S. livestock facilities produce 40 percent of farm animals,i and these large, corporate-owned CAFOs have been highly promoted as the best way to produce food for the masses. The only reason CAFOs are able to remain so “efficient,” bringing in massive profits while selling their food for bottom-barrel prices, is because they substitute subsidized crops for pasture grazing.

Factory farms use massive quantities of corn, soy and grain in their animal feed, all crops that they are often able to purchase at below cost because of government subsidies. Because of these subsidies, U.S. farmers produce massive amounts of soy, corn, wheat, etc. — rather than vegetables — leading to a monoculture of foods that create a fast food diet. As written in the book “CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories”:…..


No Quick Fixes for Outbreak Surveillance and Response

By John J. Guzewich

Many of us have experienced the frustration of learning of a foodborne disease outbreak and wondering why didn’t we know about it sooner, why we don’t know all the details we wanted to know, why the investigation wasn’t successful or…


Cantaloupe Growers Invite Public to Webinars

By Dan Flynn

When the goal is to get consumers back after last year’s deadly cantaloupe outbreak, the industry’s Stephen Patricio says growers need to impose “transparent yet severe and expensive restrictions on ourselves.”And the industry groups sponsoring educational sessions for cantaloupe growers…


Safeway Drops ‘Pink Slime,’ Walmart to Offer Consumers Choice

By Helena Bottemiller

Responding to widespread consumer concern, the nation’s second and third largest grocery chains, Safeway and SuperValu, will stop selling Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB), otherwise known as ‘pink slime,’ ABC World News reported Wednesday.Safeway said “considerable consumer concern” led to…


Denver Defends New Restaurant Inspection Scheme

By Dan Flynn

Bob McDonald, Denver’s environmental health director, wants restaurateurs and the public at large to understand how the city now enforces inspections.McDonald met Tuesday with some of Denver’s restaurateurs who are upset because more fines are being levied after inspections.The city…



U.S. travelers to Olympics may bring home measles, CDC warns

Health officials are bracing for the possibility of a measles outbreak in the USA, fueled by unvaccinated American tourists returning home from this summer’s Olympic Games.

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated that each measles case costs $160,000 for investigation, follow-up and possible hospitalization.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that the Olympics in London, as well as the Euro 2012 soccer cup in Poland and Ukraine, will be huge draws for American travelers and will increase the risk for measles infection. The virus is much more prevalent in Europe, leading to eight deaths and 26,000 illnesses last year.

“Disease knows no borders,” said Rebecca Martin, director of the CDC’s Global Immunization Division. “We are concerned about Americans coming back from the Olympics this summer and unknowingly infecting others.”


If aspirin is a miracle drug, shouldn’t we all be taking it?

A small dose of the painkiller every day can reduce the risk of cancer, cardiovasular disease and blood clots.

So, did you take a mini-aspirin this morning? If not, why not? Research appears to confirm aspirin’s growing reputation as that most medicinal of cliches – a miracle drug. The study, published on Tuesday, reported that taking a low dose of acetyl-salicylic acid – the generic name for aspirin – daily for between three and five years reduces the chance of being diagnosed with cancer during that time by 19 per cent.


Seaweed toast is same as half an hour on treadmill

Breakfasting on a slice of bread baked with ground-up seaweed could help burn more calories than half an hour on a treadmill, according to new research

Trials on nearly 80 healthy but overweight men showed those fed scrambled egg on seaweed enriched toast felt so full they consumed 179 calories less a day.

The tests at Sheffield Hallam University are the first to involve adding the entire seaweed plant to the bread mix rather than breaking it down to extract various chemicals.

The bread – served with the crusts cut off – did not include any salt at all with the seaweed acting as a total replacement.


Breakthrough in cancer detection to be tested on smokers

A simple blood test that can detect lung cancer five years earlier than conventional screening will be trialled by the NHS on thousands of high risk smokers.

The test is being trialled in Scotland in the hope it could provide the first national screening program for lung cancer as well as paving the way for better detection of other tumorous cancers such as breast, colon and prostate.

A version of the test, developed at Nottingham University, to detect breast cancer early could be ready next year.

It could revolutionize how cancer is diagnosed and mean treatment can start at a much earlier stage when the chances of success are best.


Holistic Health

Indoor urban farm in New York helps feed hundreds of families

By Jonathan Benson,

(NaturalNews) Flowering displays are replacing urban decay all across America, with recent reports out of New York illustrating the power of creative, resourceful thinking in implementing successful, city-based farming initiatives. New York Daily News reports that a food pantry in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., has successfully created a 250-square foot indoor farm that produces food for hundreds of local families and their children — and many others in the area are working…


Vitamin E tocotrienols work through multiple pathways to delay disease onset and extend lifespan

By John Phillip,

(NaturalNews) The result of several new research bodies that have been published all point to the powerful effect of vitamin E tocotrienols to prevent stomach cancer, reduce fatty liver disease incidences and prevent disease mechanisms that can extend natural lifespan in humans. Over the past decade, many studies have highlighted the importance of the most common vitamin E isomer known as alpha-tocopherol. While this form of the vitamin is important to lower risk of heart disease, a plethora of new…


French pine bark contains powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that ease symptoms of chronic disorders like arthritis, asthma

By Jonathan Benson, March 21 2012

(NaturalNews) An antioxidant-rich nutrient with powerful anti-inflammatory properties, French pine bark extract, also commonly known as Pycnogenol, is hailed by many as an effective treatment for asthma, osteoarthritis, chronic venous insufficiency (CVI), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and many other chronic diseases. And based on the myriad research that has been conducted on French pine bark over the years, all of this and more appear to be true of the nutrient. French pine…


Pet Health

Caring for Your Pet’s Skin During the Winter Season

By the time we reach adulthood, most of us have discovered that winter weather can wreak havoc on our skin. Humidity is low, the outside air is cold and windy, and we’re going in and out of cold to warm and back again throughout each day. Even in homes with great ventilation, our bodies have to struggle to keep up with the temperature and moisture changes that occur throughout the day.

It stands to reason that the body cannot always keep up the necessary balance of chemicals, oils and bacteria the skin needs to stay soft, flexible and comfortable, and the common result is dry, itchy, flaking skin. What is true for human skin is often true for animal skin, as well, and many of the same remedies are useful for both preventing and treating skin problems in dogs.



Listeria Found in Ready-to-Eat Beef Sausage

By Julia Thomas

Southside Market & BBQ of Elgin, TX is recalling approximately 2,373 pounds of ready-to-eat beef sausage products that may have been contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced Wednesday.The problem was…