Food: Meat Fit to Eat

Upton Sinclair's book The Jungle, a scathing exposé of the filthy conditions existing in the nation's meat-packing plants, led to passage of the 1906 Meat Inspection Act. Still in force, the act requires the Department of Agriculture to inspect every red-meat animal whose carcass moves in interstate commerce —both before and after slaughter. Trouble is, 15% of the slaughtered animals and 25% of the processed meat do not cross state lines and thus escape federal regulation. Policing of this meat is left to the states, but only 29 have mandatory meat-inspection laws,...

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