Extraordinarily, Westland/Hallmark Meat Co. President Steve Mendell never watched the full video that brought down his slaughterhouse and company, and triggered the largest meat recall in U.S. history, until he swore his oath to tell the truth when testifying before Congress Wednesday.
After assuring Congress that there was no good reason to recall his beef, because his plants don't illegally slaughter "downer" cows that can't stand or walk on their own, he saw the video that millions have watched on the Humane Society Web site and YouTube.
Then, he had to admit that indeed, at least those downer cows shown on video had been slaughtered for human consumption.
With the proliferation of relatively cheap video cameras and the ability to publish footage on the Web, citizen investigators now have the tools to expose wrongdoing in places that were never before possible.
If you haven't seen the Humane Society's undercover video, here it is. But be forewarned, it is graphic and many will find it disturbing. It has no doubt inspired some people to stop eating beef altogether.
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