Endangering the Public for Animal Rights Activism

By March 2, 2008General

Animal rights activists keeping potential food safety violations under wraps because they wanted to maximize the PR impact of their charges? Even though their skullduggery endangered the public’s health? Wow…wow.

From Consumer Freedom, a February 29th post:

Yesterday the Riverside (California) Press-Enterprise helped answer a burning question about the undercover slaughterhouse video released on January 30 by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS): If HSUS knew in October 2007 that potentially unsafe meat was entering the U.S. food chain (including the federal school lunch program), why did the animal rights group sit on its footage for more than three months? In sworn testimony before Congress on Tuesday, HSUS’s Dr. Michael Greger blamed the delay (at least three times) on the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office, claiming that “they told us to wait on any kind of public release of this information.” But yesterday the Press-Enterprise exposed this as a lie. And today we’re asking Congress to investigate whether Greger committed perjury. (Click here to read our letter to lawmakers.)

Consumer Freedom contacted the San Bernadino County DA’s office and talked to Assistant District Attorney Dennis Christy, who confirmed the Press-Enterprise report:

I can say unequivocally that we never suggested in any way – in fact, we encouraged the HSUS to cooperate with, provide information to the U.S. Department of Agriculture … [and] we had some difficulty in preparing criminal charges, because of delays in setting up any interview with the Humane Society investigator at which USDA officers would be present.

If Roger Clemens is going to be subject to an investigation and potential perjury charge for lying to Congress, and the only person he conceivably endangered was himself, well, then….

UPDATE (1 p.m.): Secretary of Agriculture Ed Schafer, talking to reporters on February 22nd in Monterey, California:

I am extremely disappointed in how the Humane Society has handled this process. They are not forthcoming with the information. If their mission is to allow, or to provide humane treatment of animals out there, there’s a simple fact that if they took this film in October they didn’t contact the USDA until after they released it to the press at the end of January. So for four months, theoretically, animals were not being properly treated, and the Humane Society stood by and allowed it to happen.

That’s not the relationship that we should have in this marketplace. The Humane Society and USDA should be working together on common goals, which is the humane treatment of animals, and if they or someone else, an employee, an owner, somebody, comes forward and says animals are not being treated properly, we are going to at USDA step forward and say, ‘We have rules, we have regulations, and we’re going to stand by them about how animals are treated.’ Immediately. Not four months later.

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