FDA recalls foreign meat used in aid for victims of Hurricane Katrina

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Monday, September 26, 2005

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The American Food and Drug Administration has recalled operational rations (MREs) donated by Britain to help survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

The Daily Mirror insinuated that the majority of the 400,000 rations donated by Britain, at a cost of millions of pounds, are set to be destroyed at a plant in Little Rock, Arkansas. The Washington Times reported, on September 23, 2005, that a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed that the food was being held at the facility but denied any plans to incinerate the rations donated by Britain.

Nevertheless, the move has infuriated aid workers who hasten to point out that "Under NATO, American soldiers are also entitled to eat such rations, yet the starving of the American South will see them go up in smoke because of FDA red tape madness." One aid worker was quoted as saying that "the world's richest nation couldn't organize a piss-up in a brewery and lets Americans starve while they arrogantly observe petty regulations. Everyone is revolted by the chaotic shambles the US is making of this crisis. Guys from UNICEF are walking around spitting blood."

An FDA spokesman said the rations had not been inspected but were automatically deemed "unfit for human consumption" due to Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or colloquially "mad cow disease") fears. He observed that 70 pallets of vegetarian MREs were inspected and approved on September 13th. Aid workers claim that, today, BSE is much more of a problem in the U.S. than in Britain.

Food donations from Spain and Italy are also being held by the FDA due to similar concern, as well as thousands of gallons of pear juice from Israel. Licensing regulations have also prevented foreign nations from sending doctors and other medical personnel.

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