Federal Prosecutors Claim Veal Companies Cost Industry $500 Million
U.S. attorneys in New York have filed a complaint against three veal producers
for allegedly exporting meat containing vertebral column to Japan, which
had just reopened its borders to U.S. imports after a two-year ban over a
bovine spongiform encephalopathy (“mad cow”) scare. United States v. Atl.
Veal & Lamb LLC, No. 11-1034 (E.D.N.Y., filed March 3, 2011).
Under U.S.-Japan trade agreements, beef and beef products cannot contain
vertebral column, and when Japanese inspectors discovered the breach, it
immediately again closed its borders to U.S. beef imports, allegedly costing
the U.S. livestock, beef and meat industry “at least $500 million in losses.” The
prosecutors seek to enjoin the defendants from violating U.S. Department of
Agriculture regulations and allege that unless enjoined, the companies “will
continue to sell and offer for transportation in commerce misbranded meat
and meat food products for human consumption abroad that fail to comply
with [export verification] program requirements.”