« PreviousContinue »
Donald L. Houston, D.V.M., Associate Administrator, Food Safety and Inspec-
tion Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, accompanied by Lester Craw-
ford, D.V.M., Associate Administrator...
Brian L. Usilaner, Associate Director, National Productivity Group, General
Government Division, U.S. General Accounting Office, accompanied by Clif-
ton E. Spruill and Connie Sawyer, Evaluators, Norfolk Regional Office,
Charles C. Allen III, President, Allen Family Foods, representing the Nation-
al Broiler Council, accompanied by Gary Jay Kushner, Legal Counsel, and
Mahlon A. Burnette III, Ph.D., Technical Advisor.
Stanley J. Emerling, Executive Vice President, National Association of Meat
Kenneth T. Blaylock, National President, American Federation of Govern-
ment Employees, accompanied by James Murphy, AFGA member and
USDA Inspector, Smyrna, DE.
Vernie Gee, Inspector, Food, Safety and Inspection Service, USDA, Gardenia,
CA, accompanied by Thomas Devine, Legal Director, Government Account-
Rodney E. Leonard, Executive Director, Community Nutrition Institution
Federal Meat Inspection Act, as amended, 21 U.S.C., 601 et seq
Poultry Products Inspection Act, as amended, 21 U.S.C. 451 et seq.
"Meat and Poultry Inspection: The Scientific Basis of the Nation's Program,'
prepared by the Committee on the Scientific Basis of the Nation's Meat and
Poultry Inspection Program, Food and Nutrition Board, Commission on Life
Sciences, National Research Council, National Academy Press, 1985 (Execu-
"Poultry Inspection: The Basis for a Risk-Assessment Approach," prepared by
the Committee on Public Health Risk Assessment of Poultry Inspection
Programs, Food and Nutrition Board, Commission on Life Sciences, Ñation-
al Research Council, National Academy Press, 1987 (Executive Summary)....
"Experimentation With Procedures for Determining the Intensity of Inspec-
tion Coverage in Processing Establishments; Waivers of Provisions of the
Regulations, Food Safety and Inspection Service," 9 CRF, Parts 303 and 381,
FR Vol. 52, No. 60, 10028-10033, March 30, 1987
Report on Food Safety and Inspection Service Meat and Poultry Inspection
Program to Donald L. Houston, Administrator, Food Safety and Inspection
Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, from Donn E. Adkisson, Assistant
Inspector General for Audit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, September 26,
1986 (with attachment)....
Status Report of Actions Taken on Recommendations: Audit of Food Safety
and Inspection Service Meat and Poultry Inspection Program, #38607-1-
At, to Donald L. Houston, Administrator, Food Safety and Inspection Serv-
ice, USDA, from Robert E. Miller, Acting Assistant Inspector General for
Audit, USDA, January 15, 1987.
Status of Recommendations, Audit #38607-1-At, FSIS Meat and Poultry
Inspection Program, to Donald L. Houston, Administrator, Food Safety and
Inspection Service, USDA, from Steadie Mixson, Regional Inspector Gener-
al for Audit, USDA, February 19, 1987..
Status of FSIS Actions Taken in Response to OIG Audit of FSIS Meat and
Poultry Inspection Program (150-Plant Audit), #38607-1-At, report to
James R. Ebbitt, Assistant Inspector General for Audit, USDA, from
Donald L. Houston, Administrator, FSIS, USDA, March 27, 1987..
Letter to Kenneth A. Gilles, Assistant Secretary, Marketing and Inspection
Service, USDA, from Peter C. Myers, Deputy Secretary, USDA, April 9,
1987 (with attachment)...
Memo to Peter C. Myers, Deputy Secretary, USDA, from Kenneth A. Gilles,
Assistant Secretary, Marketing and Inspection Service, USDA, April 15,
Resolution of the FSIS Meat and Poultry Inspection Program Audit #38607-
1-At (memorandum), to James R. Ebbitt, Assistant Inspector General for
Audit, USDA, from Donald L. Houston, Administrator, FŜIS, USDA, May 5,
Sworn statements of U.S. Department of Agriculture inspectors detailing
irregularities in Departmental management practices with regard to the
operation of the Food Safety and Inspection Service Review and Evaluation
staff reports, as submitted by the Government Accountability Project............
Letter to Secretary of Agriculture Richard Lyng from FSIS Meat and Poultry
Inspectors, March 30, 1987 (with attachments).....
Selected Newspaper Articles:
"U.S. Inspectors Find 37% of Chickens are Contaminated with Salmonel-
la," Don Kendall, Philadelphia Inquirer, February 18, 1987.
"It Must Have Been Something You Ate," Penny Ward Moser, Discover
magazine, Vol. 8, February 1987, pg. 94-100..
"Serving Up Salmonella for Dinner," Joseph Carey, U.S. News and World Report, March 9, 1987..
"Chicken Inspection Is Faulted," Irvin Molosky, the New York Times, May 13, 1987.
"Poultry Contamination Undetected, Report Says," Ward Sinclair, the Washington Post, May 13, 1987.
"The Great American Fish Scandal: Health Risks Unchecked," fact sheet, Public Notice for Food and Health Policy....
INVESTIGATION INTO FOOD SAFETY AND INSPECTION SERVICE (FSIS) INSPECTION ACTIVITIES
SUBCOMMITTEE ON OVERSIGHT OF
COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS,
The Subcommittee met at 9:40 a.m., pursuant to notice, in room 342 Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Subcommittee, presiding.
Present: Senators Levin, Cohen, Pryor, Stevens, and Roth.
Also present: Senator Bumpers.
Staff present: Linda J. Gustitus, Staff Director and Chief Counsel; Mary Berry Gerwin, Minority Staff Director and Chief Counsel, Frankie de Vergie, Chief Clerk; Richard Allen, Professional Staff Member; Robert W. Porter, Jr., Minority Professional Staff Member; Trina Bragni and Jeff Carter-Campbell, Interns.
OPENING STATEMENT OF SENATOR LEVIN
Senator LEVIN. Today the Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management is looking into a most serious problem, the problem of food poisoning of American consumers from federally inspected and approved meat and poultry products.
This hearing has been called at the request of the Ranking Republican Member, Senator Cohen, who last year initiated a General Accounting Office investigation into the Federal Safety Inspection Service which will be discussed by our GAO witness later this morning. I commend him for bringing this important issue to the Subcommittee's attention.
Food poisoning is not a new problem. No doubt our prehistoric ancestors suffered illness or death when the food they ate was contaminated. More recently food poisonings from salmonella and other exotic bacteria have significantly increased in the United States in recent years.
In fact, the number of reported food poisoning cases has doubled in the last 10 years, notwithstanding the fact that the Federal Safety and Inspection Service in the Department of Agriculture inspects and labels virtually every piece of meat and poultry that leaves a processing plant.
In my State of Michigan, for example, the number of reported poisonings from salmonella in 1976 was 889. In 1986, 10 years later,