Is That Dog In Your Hamburger? The Answer Is “Yes” If George Bush Gets His Way

In a further degradation of food safety standards, the Bush Administration’s USDA is now allowing rabbit, cat and dog meat to be mixed with ground beef and sold. Andrew Martin of the Chicago Tribune reports:

A short notice from the United States Department of
Agriculture has created a stir-and perhaps a wave of nausea-among the
nation’s meat inspectors.

7971455_1Called “FSIS NOTICE 15-06: Use of Non-Amenable Animal Tissue in
Inspected Products,” the notice essentially says that animals that you
wouldn’t normally associate with hamburgers can be “included in
amenable meat or poultry products produced in official establishments.”

In other words, anything from deer to dog meat
can be ground into hamburger, as long as it meets state regulations,
which inspectors say tend to be looser than the federal government’s.

Martin asked Steven Cohen, spokesman for the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service, if dog meat really could be mixed with beef and sold to consumers across America:

“I don’t believe that it is illegal, but there is no
place that is producing dog meat,” Cohen said, adding that the
regulation fits a “very limited circumstance. “I don’t think there’s
anyone who is doing this on a commercial basis.”

But roadkill wouldn’t qualify because, since the animal wasn’t slaughtered, it would be considered adulterated, he said.

According to Martin, even migratory birds could be added to the mix:

Non-amenable animal tissue, as defined in the notice, is any tissue
from animals not subject to inspection under the Federal Meat
Inspection Act and the Poultry Products Inspection Act. It includes
edible tissue from exotic animals, rabbits, migratory birds and other
animals not under the scope of USDA inspection, like alligator and

This is especially troubling because state inspections are often much weaker than the USDA’s – which itself has been weakened by the Bush Administration. With Bird Flu a real threat, allowing the admixture of migratory bird tissue with beef is asking for trouble – big trouble.

And how has this announcement affected the nation’s already disheartened Food Inspectors?

News of the notice swept through the community of meat inspectors
after one of them sent an email to USDA’s technical support center
asking for clarification. In response to a question, Kris Kenne, a USDA
staff officer, said someone could mix deer meat with pork and sell deer
dogs with a USDA logo as long as the ingredients were labeled and state
law allowed it.

Does this also mean that a slaughtered cat or dog can be added to sausage, Kenne was asked?

“Yes, that is a possibility should one wish to pursue to use them as
an ingredient in the product. Public perception may not be so
acceptable of the practice though,” Kenne responded.…

“Suffice it to say, this is bizarre to inspectors in the field,”
said Trent Berhow, president of the Midwest Council of Food Inspectors



Filed under Bio-Ethics, Kosher Meat Scandal

17 responses to “Is That Dog In Your Hamburger? The Answer Is “Yes” If George Bush Gets His Way

  1. Nigritude Ultramarine

    Where’s Upton Sinclair when you need him?

  2. Sleeping on my couch. he takes over at midnight so I can sleep. :-))

    Actually, the recent scandals involving the USDA all involve the Bush Administration skirting or gutting regulations passed immediately after Upton Sinclair published The Jungle.


  3. Ma. Rabbi

    Better go back to eating Rubashkin meat, at least you wont be eating dog .

  4. I usually try to post with logic and intellegence, but the only thing I can think of is: WHAT THE F#%K?! Where is PETA when you need them?!

  5. Shmarya, why did you put this in the “KOSHER meat scandal” category?

  6. I was working this story, too. Andy beat me to it. PETA did not know about the story. I sent Andy’s piece to them earlier tonight. Expect a loud PETA reaction Monday.


    Why is this posted in the Kosher Meat Scandal category? There’s a tie-in that will become evident in the not too distant future.

  7. Ma Rabbi

    I remember about 30years ago there was a big scandal in NYC that some restaurants were serving dog and cat meat to customers who ordered steak. At that time, the authorities advised people to buy Kosher meat to be protected.

  8. I remember about 50 years ago, and about 40 years ago, and about 30 years ago and … well, often, there have been scandals where treife meat has been sold as kosher. Why not two years ago a Chanad outfit based in Iowa sold very questionalble meat as glatt kosher. I asked authorities about this and they suggested we should all stop eating meat.

  9. Ma Rabbi

    Dont lie. Your not old enough to remember anything from 50 years ago.

  10. But I’m old enough to have heard about it from people who were there – including rabbis.

  11. Ma. Rabbi

    I am glad you posted this story about dog meat. Perhaps now, some of your secular readers will realize the advantage of buying Kosher.I have no connection with Rubashkin. I am happy if Jews buy Kosher meat from any source. To be fair, I have heard from people in the know, that Rubashkin did make alot of improvements in the last years.

  12. Neo-Conservaguy

    It’s no advantage if the meat sold as kosher is treif. It’s fractionating to me that one of the most reliable sources for kosher meat these days, even though it’s not glatt, is Hebrew National.

  13. Who, if anyone at all, supervises the Kashrut at Hebrew National?

  14. ah yid

    some Yong Jews. mostly ex religious and under 30

  15. Neo-Conservaguy

    “Rabbi Ralbag, Head Kashruth Administrator (kosher supervisor) of the Triangle organization, was born in the Holy City of Jerusalem. He studied at the Yeshivahs Etz Chayim and Merkaz Harav in Jerusalem . He received Semicha (rabbinical ordination) with the highest honors, Yore Yore Yodin Yodin, by the most pious Rabbis of the Holy Land , Rabbi Iser Zalman Meltzer – Rosh Yeshivah of Yeshivahs Etz Chaim, Rabbi Yacov Moshe Charlap – Rosh Yeshivah of Merkaz Harav, and Rabbi Hirsh Pesach Frank – Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem and others.”

  16. Ma. Rabbi

    Rabbi Ralbag must be about 90 years old. I met him 30 years ago when I was in my 20s. Do you really think a 90 year old man can properly supervise the Kashrut at a large concern such as Hebrew National?

  17. I don’t know? Can a 90-plus-year-old man run an international Jewish educational and outreach organization without having it go off into heresy?

    No. I guess he could not.

    But, guess what? Rabbi Ralbag’s SON runs the kashrut org. He’s about 50, has yadin yadin, and is a straight shooter – something one cannot say about Berel Levy’s son.

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