California Slaughterhouse Allegedly Sold Meat From Cows With Can - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

California Slaughterhouse Allegedly Sold Meat From Cows With Cancer

Posted: Updated:

HUFFINGTONPOST.COM - The nearly 9 million pounds of beef recalled from a California slaughterhouse this month may have come from cows sick with cancer, inside sources are now claiming.

Rancho Feeding Corp., currently under investigation by the U.S. Department of Agriculture after inspectors demanded the processing plant recall a year’s worth of beef, was allegedly purchasing dairy cows sick with eye cancer, decapitating them to hide the disease from inspectors and illegally selling the beef, an anonymous source told the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Rancho, we're told, was slaughtering them, somehow after hours or in other ways where the inspector didn't know about it," the source revealed. "Because the carcass looked good, (Rancho) mixed it back in with other beef that it sold under its label."

USDA officials do not comment on ongoing investigations, and Rancho’s lawyers have forbidden employees from speaking to the media.

Bill Niman, the former owner of Niman Ranch who is widely considered a pioneer of humane and sustainable livestock farming, processed his cattle at Rancho and subsequently had his entire 2013 output recalled, even though he says his product was totally separate from the tainted meat in question. Based on conversations he had with USDA officials and others in the ranching community, he also speculates the plant may have been processing cows with eye cancer, noting that it is one of the only facilities that slaughters retired dairy cows, which are often in poor health.

"A farmer sends a cow in with cancer, and he knows it has cancer-eye -- it's a growth on the eye, this is not a microbial situation," he told the Village Voice. "The inspectors, they know it has cancer-eye. So the farmer shouldn't have sent it, and the inspector should have caught it."

An unnamed federal food inspector at the plant also cited a breakdown in responsibility, alleging that the supervising USDA veterinarian ignored her warnings against slaughtering some cows during a five-month period last year.

“She would tag animals for the PHV (public health veterinarian) and what she thought sometimes were cancerous, the vet would pass … And she can't question the vet,” Paul Carney, president of the federal meat inspectors union, told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

But amid all of this, no one has reported getting sick from the meat, and experts say cows with eye cancer are not necessarily dangerous to eat unless the cancer has spread to other organs.

"If I'm out on top of Mount Everest and have a cow (with eye cancer) and I'm hungry, I'm going to cook her well and deal with getting down the mountain," James Cullor, professor of population health and reproduction at the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis, told the Chronicle. "But if I'm here in this country, I will choose to not consume the animal. I wouldn't feed the animal to my grandchildren."


  • National NewsMore>>

  • Battle rages in Gaza City

    Battle rages in Gaza City

    Sunday, July 20 2014 2:12 PM EDT2014-07-20 18:12:41 GMT
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - It's the deadliest day yet of Israel's 3-day-old ground offensive in Gaza. Palestinian health officials say at least 65 people were killed as Israeli troops backed by tanks and warplanes battled Hamas militants in a crowded neighborhood of Gaza City.Thousands have fled the city and dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed. Palestinian health officials put the number of displaced at 35,000.More >>
    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - It's the deadliest day yet of Israel's 3-day-old ground offensive in Gaza. Palestinian health officials say at least 65 people were killed as Israeli troops backed by tanks and warplanes battled Hamas militants in a crowded neighborhood of Gaza City.Thousands have fled the city and dozens of homes were damaged or destroyed. Palestinian health officials put the number of displaced at 35,000.More >>
  • Feds: Man said he'd blow up London-to-LA plane

    Feds: Man said he'd blow up London-to-LA plane

    Thursday, July 17 2014 12:52 AM EDT2014-07-17 04:52:07 GMT
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A federal criminal complaint says a passenger on a flight this week from London to Los Angeles threatened to kill flight attendants and blow up the plane.The FBI says 20-year-old Kevin Lee Mosele of Kihei, Hawaii, was charged Tuesday with interfering with a flight crew. He could get 20 years in federal prison if convicted.More >>
    LOS ANGELES (AP) - A federal criminal complaint says a passenger on a flight this week from London to Los Angeles threatened to kill flight attendants and blow up the plane.The FBI says 20-year-old Kevin Lee Mosele of Kihei, Hawaii, was charged Tuesday with interfering with a flight crew. He could get 20 years in federal prison if convicted.More >>
  • Las Vegas doctor will help girl attacked by pit bull

    Las Vegas doctor will help girl attacked by pit bull

    Monday, June 23 2014 8:58 PM EDT2014-06-24 00:58:54 GMT
    JACKSON, Miss. - A Las Vegas doctor deeply touched by the story of the little girl who was asked to leave KFC because of the scars on her face, has decided to pay it forward. Victoria Wilcher was the victim of a pit bull attack that left her with multiple scars all over her face and only one eye.More >>
    JACKSON, Miss. - A Las Vegas doctor deeply touched by the story of the little girl who was asked to leave KFC because of the scars on her face, has decided to pay it forward. Victoria Wilcher was the victim of a pit bull attack that left her with multiple scars all over her face and only one eye.More >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Progress being made on power outages

    Progress being made on power outages

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:53 AM EDT2014-07-25 04:53:40 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - As of 9:30pm Thursday, there were still more than 20,000 customers without power in the Inland Northwest.More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - As of 9:30pm Thursday, there were still more than 20,000 customers without power in the Inland Northwest. In a press release sent out Thursday night, Avista said they have 68% of the nearly 40,000 customers who lost power during Wednesday's severe thunderstorm have power again. There were still more than 12,000 customers without power, however. Avista said rein...More >>
  • PHOTOS: Severe storm causes power outages, damage to homes

    PHOTOS: Severe storm causes power outages, damage to homes

    Friday, July 25 2014 12:19 AM EDT2014-07-25 04:19:06 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A storm seemed to leave just as fast as it arrived Wednesday in Spokane. High winds blew over trees and utility lines, causing widespread power outages and some severe property damage. INSIDE>>>| Power Outages | PHOTOS |More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - A storm seemed to leave just as fast as it arrived Wednesday in Spokane. High winds blew over trees and utility lines, causing widespread power outages and some severe property damage. INSIDE>>>| Power Outages | PHOTOS |More >>
  • Boil-water advisories issued in several eastern Washington areas after storms

    Boil-water advisories issued in several eastern Washington areas after storms

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:12 PM EDT2014-07-25 02:12:58 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Health believes some local water systems are at risk after severe storms moved through the area on Wednesday and they have issued some boil-water advisories. More >>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - The Washington State Department of Health believes some local water systems are at risk after severe storms moved through the area on Wednesday and they have issued some boil-water advisories. In Spokane and Pend Oreille counties, several water systems are under boil-water advisories:·More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.