Officials at the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a recall notice for 170,000 pounds of beef products that included the 41,000 pounds of illegally imported Canadian ground beef.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the meat was mislabeled and was intended for use as an ingredient to prepare ground beef patties. The United States has restricted imports of various commodities since the detection of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Canada.
Ground beef is not one of the products permitted for import after the border closure. Although the product shows little health risks, U.S. recalled the meat because it was not eligible for import.
South Dakota Democratic Senator Tom Daschle says he's troubled additional Canadian ground beef found its way into the U.S. "The Bush Administration has wrestled with multiple issues related to the Canadian border since the discovery of Mad Cow disease in Canada in May of 2003," he says.
The Inspector General has agreed to investigate the regulatory policy and enforcement lapses from the USDA. Daschle is requesting the Administration leave the border closed to additional Canadian beef products until the inspector has completed the investigation and necessary policy reforms are put in place.
"Many of my colleagues on the Senate Agriculture Committee have joined me in calling for an oversight hearing. Producers across the country deserve answers, and this latest recall announcement only underscores the need for USDA to appear before Congress and provide them," Daschle says.