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These articles are posted for referring my essays and columns. These copyrights are kept by each original author.
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(Newsweek Japan 2006.2.8)
By g[VEJ[y^[ (Traci Carpenter)
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AJ̋ƊEɂƂĂ͑z͈̔͊O̎ԂɂȂB
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(Newsweek Japan 2006.2.1)
By iV[EObh (Nancye Good)
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USDA accused of faking forms
(The Washington Times - Thursday, April 22, 2004)
By Steve Mitchell, United Press International's Medical
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Washington, DC, Apr. 23 (UPI) -- U.S. Department of Agriculture officials pressure their veterinarians to sign documents that falsely certify food items are safe for export, an agency veterinarian and an attorney representing federal veterinarians told United Press International.
The veterinarian and the attorney also charge that management officials in USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service have intentionally created an atmosphere of fear and harassment designed to intimidate employees into blindly following supervisors' orders -- even if those orders involve signing fraudulent documents.

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"They have suspended one veterinarian and have pressured others when they balked at signing certificates that were not truthful," said Bill Hughes, an attorney for the National Association of Federal Veterinarians in Washington, D.C., a group that represents about 80 percent of the approximately 900 veterinarians in the FSIS.
"We're afraid that it is going to become increasingly widespread if something is not done to stop it," Hughes told UPI.

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uɎ~߂鉽炩[uȂȂ΁Â悤ȂƂ܂܂悤ɂȂ邾낤Bvƃq[Y͌B
An export certificate confirms a food item produced in the United States was prepared in accordance with the safety inspection requirements of foreign countries.
USDA spokesman Steven Cohen told UPI that FSIS was not aware of any problems with its export certification process.
"We would launch an investigation if anybody had any information that veterinarians were pressured to sign export certificates," Cohen said.
Hughes said, however, he has notified the FSIS of the problem both formally and informally, including in private meetings with several top administrators -- from Philip Derfler, assistant administrator in the office of policy and program development to Elsa Murano, undersecretary for food safety.

Ao͕ؖčY̐HiAO{̋߂Svɏ]čĂ邱ƂF؂̂B
_(USDA)̍LS̃XeB[uER[ǴAHiS(FSIS)͗Aoؖ̎葱ɂĂ̂悤Ȗ肪邱ƂmȂAƌB
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q[ÝAȂAނ͌ɂɂA܂l̒̎҂Ƃ̎I܂߂Ė̐HiS(FSIS)̂Ƃm点ĂƌB
One agency veterinarian, who was reprimanded for refusing to sign an export certificate he thought was false, said USDA management will take punitive actions against employees who question the validity of export certificates or agency policy.
The veterinarian, who works as a meat inspector for FSIS, asked UPI to withhold his name and the details pertaining to the incident in which he was involved because he feared retaliation from the agency for speaking out.
"They (FSIS management) do what they want -- they get even," said the veterinarian, who has more than 15 years experience with the agency and has been given awards and accolades for being a superior employee during that time.
Asked if authorities in foreign nations should have any faith in U.S. export certificates, the veterinarian replied: "No, the export certificates don't mean anything. A lot of the veterinarians just sign it because they're forced into signing it."

UƎvAoؖɃTC邱Ƃ񂾂߂ɒ󂯂1l̔_ȏb́A_(USDA)̊ǗÉAǂ̐Aoؖ̐ɋ^ɑ΂邾낤AƌB
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uHiS(FSIS)̊ǗEė~ƂƂAŔނ͎؂肪ȂȂBvƁA15Nȏ㓭ÅԁAi邽߂ɏ܂Ɖh_󂯑b͌B
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Hughes currently is representing two USDA veterinarians who were suspended without pay for two weeks for refusing to sign export certificates they deemed to be false. Hughes said he was aware of other USDA veterinarians who have encountered similar pressure from management. "I know of several, probably two, for sure," he said, adding, "I don't know how many there are that didn't have the guts to come forward. There are a number of people who would love to come forward if they were subpoenaed by a Congressional committee."

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The allegations, if true, could have negative implications for U.S. meat and poultry exports, which recently have taken a hard hit due to the discovery of a cow infected with mad cow disease in Washington state last December, as well as several flocks of birds infected with avian influenza in recent months.
The accusations also might have parallels to an ongoing investigation by the USDA's Office of Inspector General into the mad cow case. The OIG is looking into allegations the USDA veterinarian involved in the case was pressured by management to alter an inspection sheet that indicated the cow was a downer after it tested positive.

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"Over half of the poultry produced in this country goes overseas," Hughes said. "If these countries found out about some of our practices, it could really hurt our country's economy."
The Federation of Veterinarians of Europe, a group that represents more than 150,000 veterinarians in 30 European countries, already has taken notice of the situation and they find it troubling.
"It is essential that veterinarians only certify matters they have verified as being correct," FVE executive director Jan Vaarten told UPI. "FVE cannot accept that veterinarians are put under pressure to deviate from this, their professional obligation."

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Hughes currently is handling a case involving a veterinarian in Mississippi who refused to sign an export certificate for poultry that was to be shipped to Russia.
Christina Dumal, an FSIS supervisory veterinary medical officer, had cited a Mississippi poultry firm for two infractions on two consecutive days -- Aug. 26 and 27, 2003. Several employees were observed not wearing smocks or gloves.
The infractions, which Dumal documented in two non-compliance reports obtained by UPI, meant the product produced during those days -- over 1 million pounds of chicken, a considerable investment for the company -- did not meet the export requirements Russian authorities and the plant had agreed upon only three months earlier in May.
So when it came time to sign the export certificate, Dumal refused because, according to documents in her appeals, she considered signing it would be illegal, a concern that Hughes said was justified.
"She would've been committing a federal crime and could've been individually liable, too," Hughes said. "Orders from her boss does not get her off the hook."

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Plant employees complained and both Dumal's immediate supervisor and her district manager ordered her to sign the export certificate, despite the non-compliance reports.
She continued to refuse and FSIS ultimately charged her with improper conduct for disobeying orders, and accused her of telling the plant employees "there would be hell to pay" if they went over her head to get somebody else to sign the export certificates. She was suspended for two weeks without pay.

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Dumal, who has been employed by the agency for 10 years with no other discipline history, denied making the statement to the employees in a sworn and notarized affidavit included in her first appeal.
According to the case documents, FSIS officials did not interview Dumal to get her side of the story prior to making their initial decision. Officials have continued to insist, through three appeals, that she told the employees "there would be hell to pay." Officials also went so far in one appeal as to say they found her "less credible" than the plant employees, whose written accounts of the event were not sworn and notarized and were not consistent with one another.
As to the larger issue of whether the export certificate was inaccurate, FSIS authorities agreed with Dumal that the plant had violated the Russian requirements.

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William Milton, assistant administrator of FSIS, acknowledged in a Feb. 2, 2004, written response to Hughes that the company had failed to meet the export requirements for the product produced during the two days in question.
Milton's response goes on to note, however, the infractions had been corrected after the fact. "It is not reasonable to expect all (noncompliance records) to result in the condemning of all product processed during a workday, particularly minor violations which have no noted contamination of product," he wrote.
This would seem to conflict with the USDA's current directive on export certificates, which states, in unequivocal language, veterinarians should not sign certificates they consider to be inaccurate.
"The certifying official does not sign the certificate if he or she has reason to believe the information is not accurate or complete," the directive states. It includes no qualification that there must be evidence of contamination of product. The document cites the inability to verify that a product meets the export requirements as a "good and sufficient reason" for not signing an export certificate.

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Milton declined a request by UPI to comment either generally on allegations of export certificate falsification or specifically about Dumal's case.
Asked why Milton, who is one of the highest-level employees in FSIS's Office of Management, and the sole signatory on the agency's rejection of Dumal's latest appeal, would not comment, Cohen said: "This is an administrative matter. He's not really involved."
Other USDA officials could not comment on Dumal's case because it is still under appeal, Cohen said.

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Dumal's appeals, which were prepared by Hughes, also attempted to alert officials this was a widespread problem. In a Dec. 15, 2003, appeal filed with FSIS administrator Garry McKee, Hughes wrote, "at least six high level, responsible agency officials, were informed about this matter and ... the subject was and is being ignored, and apparently tacitly or actually approved."

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In another incident Hughes is handling, a veterinarian in New York was punished for refusing to sign an export certificate for baby food in 2003. Russian requirements prohibit the import of lamb products due to fear of scrapie, the sheep version of mad cow disease.
Hughes said the veterinarian, Walter Friedlander, noticed that one of the ingredients listed on the label of the baby food was lamb broth, so he refused to sign the export certificate. The FSIS suspended him for two weeks without pay and ultimately relocated the veterinarian to a plant 200 miles away from his home, a commute that he still makes to this day. The veterinarian also received an unsatisfactory review performance, even though he has been with the agency for more than 20 years and his performance always had been deemed superior, Hughes said.

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Dumal continues to appeal her case. Hughes filed Dumal's latest appeal on Feb. 20, and said he is confident she ultimately will prevail, but he remains concerned about the larger pattern he sees.
"Even if the veterinarians win in the long run, they're put through hell," he said, "because FSIS ... is taking the harshest action they possibly can against people."
This has resulted in a schism between management and the inspectors in the field, he said. "I said last summer morale was at an all-time low, but now I think it's even lower," he said.
The anonymous veterinarian said there is little benefit in appealing the FSIS decisions.
"Appealing it is just prolonging the agony," he said. "You're better off just sucking it up or getting out of the agency."

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b͓ŁAHiS(FSIS)ٌ̍iĂقƂǗvȂƌB
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Stupid White Men - Nice Planet, Nobody Home
By Michael Moore, ca
oJŃ}kPȃAJl|イɂ₳LrVCb
Manhattan is also a great place to get a steak. Until a few years ago, I don't think there was day in my adult life when I didn't eat beef - and often twice a day. Then, for no distinct reason, one day I just stopped eating it. I went a full four years without morsel of cow passing my lips. I have to say those were the foul healthiest years I've ever had. (Note: Guys like me define bealtby as "I didn't die.")

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ŋ߂܂ŁAHȂȂĂ悤ȂāAzƂȂ|ƂA12HɂB
Ƃ낪AɂƂRȂAˑR͓Ĥ߂B
4N̊ԁA͈̋AʂƂȂ߂B
ČA4NԂ́A̐l̒ōłNI4NԂƌĂî悤ȒjguNIvƂẗӖ́AuȂȂvƂƂjB
Maybe it was hearing Oprah Winfrey say on her show back in 1996 that learning about mad cow disease "just stopped me cold from eating another burger." Of course, Oprah then had to contend with a threat that was equally dangerous: the Texas cattle-men, who sued her (and the former rancher and beef lobbyist who appeared on the show to speak about the dangers of mad cow disease) for \$12 million. They claimed that Oprah and Howard Lyman violated a Texas statute that prohibits the false disparagement of perishable food products. (Please note that it was Oprah who said she was "stopped cold from eating another burger, not me - because, again, nobody here wants to be sued.) Oprah won the lawsuit in 1998; then, just to mess with their heads in Texas, she declared, 'I'm still off hamburgers."

ẤATV^g̃IvEEBt[ɂ̂ȂB
1996N̂TVV[ŁAޏ͌BuâƂmĈȗA͕|ĕ|āAno[K[͐HׂȂȂ܂vB
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I, on the other hand, have unfortunately fallen off the cluck wagon, nibbling every now and then on poor Elsie. You'd think I would have leaned my lesson back in the mid sevendies when, instead of eating beef, I ate fire retardant. Like millions of Michiganders, I spent a year ingesting PBB (polybrominated biphenyl), the chemical used in kids' pajamas - and didn't even know it. The PBB came in the form of a product called Firemaster, manufactured by a company that also happened to make cattle feed. At one point they accidentally mixed up the bags they poured the stuff into and sent the fire retardant (labeled as "feed") to a big centralized operation in Michigan that distributed the feed to farms all over the state. Soon the cows were eating PBB - and we were eating the cows and drinkig their milk, full of PBB.

܂ĂȂ̂ƂlʁB
Ƃ̂A1970N㔼΂ɁA悤ȂƂłɑ̌ς݂񂾁B
~VKl̑ł悤ɁA1NԂɂ킽āAPBB (LfrtFj/polybrominated biphenyl) |q̃pW}ɎgĂ鉻w|ێ悵B
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PBBĂЂA܂܋̉aĂB

H|ĉ́APBBԂHA񂾁B

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AN񂶂ȂƂs͐΂ɂȂȂȂB
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͉ĘbɂȂA閧B
But there's a much greater bovine threat afoot among us today - one that knows no state or regional boundaries, one that deserves the Poeian moniker it wears like a bell around the neck.. Mad cow. This is truly the scariest threat the human race has ever faced. Worse than AlDS, worse than the black plague, worse than not flossing. Mad cow disease has no cure. It has no preventive vaccine. Everyone who gets it dies, without exception, a gruesomely painful death. And the worst part is that this is a man-made disease - born of a moment of human madness, when we took innocent cows and tuned them into cannibals. Here's how it started:

AɊ֌W邱ƂŁAł͂͂邩ɐ[ȋЂĂ|Ă̋Ђɂ́AnƂEȂB
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͂܂AlނʂЂ̒łő勉ƌVmB
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aɂ́AÖ@͂ȂB\hNȂBɂ҂́Ał낤ƎʁBO͂ȂBĂ̎ɗĺAׂɂɖĂB
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A߂ȂɋHƂɂāB̎n܂́AB
Two researchers went to Papua New Guinea to study the effects of human cannibalism and how it made many Papuans go insane. They discovered that what these people were suffering from was a transmissible spongiform encephalopathic disease (or TSE). The naive people called it kuru. What happens in TSE is that rogue proteins - prions - latch onto brain cells and twist into abnormal shapes. Instead of breaking down the way a good protein is supposed to do, these guys hang out and make a mess of your nervous tissue, leaving your brain full of holes like a wheel of well-aged Swiss. Turns out that in Papua New Guinea, these prions were being spread by cannibalism. No one.seems to know where these prions originally come from, but when they get into your system they wreak havoc. Some suggest that a mere speck of prion-infected meat - only the size of a peppercorn - is enough to infect a cow. Once the little buggers are released from the beef you've ingested, they spread like an army of Pac Men, heading straight for your brain and devouring everything in sight. And here's the unbelievable part - you can't kill them... because they're not alive!

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̌ʁA̐lX늳Ă̂́ACȏ]ǁiTSEjłƂB
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ȒȂ炷ɕ̂ɁA͂ɋA_ogD񂵁A܂ŃX|Ŵ悤ɔ]炯ɂĂ܂B
pvAj[MjAł̌ÃvI͋HɂčL܂ĂƂ炩ƂȂB
̃vIƂƂǂ炫̂́ANɂȂB
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vIɐNꂽ̏Ё|RVE炢̑傫|΁A1̋̂ɏ\ƂlB
ێ悵炱̃vIƁA̓pbN}̌Rĉ悤ɎUJA܂ɔ]ڎwBsɂ邷ׂĂHr炵ȂB
āAMȂ|́AǂĂEƂ͂łȂ.B
̂ȂA͂߂琶Ȃ炾I
The disease first entered the food chain in Britain through sheep, then spread to cows, when they were fed ground-up body parts of their fellow sheep and cows. Ultimately the diseased beef was sold to the British public. The disease may lie dormant for up to thirty years before it unleashes its holy hell; only after the deaths of ten young people in 1996 did the British government acknowledge that something was wrong with the meat supply-something they had suspected for ten years. The British solution for eradicating the source of the disease is to destroy any cow suspected of karu, or mad cow disease, by cremation. But when you burn them, the threat doesn't disappear; you can't kill them, as I said. The smoke and ash just carry them to another new location, setting them free to find their way once again to the British dinner table.

̕aC͂܂ApŗrʂĐHA̒ɓAċ̊ԂɍLB
Xɍӂꂽr⋍̐ĝAaƂė^ꂽ炾B
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Americans are not immune from this deadly disease. Some experts estimate that some 200,000 U.S. citizens diagnosed with Alzheimer's may, in fact, be carrying the alien protein and that their dementia actually a form of mad cow. Britain and many other countries have since banned the cannibalistic feeding of animals to their own kind, and no scraps or leftovers of food intended for humans can be used on cattle farms. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has followed suit, banning the feeding of animals to other animals of their own kind. But cannibalistic products still get through. And how's this for scary: marry drugs and vaccines, including those for polio, diphtheria, and tetanus, may have been made with products that could, in theory, carry mad cow disease. Both Britain and the United States have been slow to act regarding this growing plague. Make sure, if you have to eat a burger or a steak, to cook that sucker until it's black. The leaner the meat, the better your chances. Me? I'm going to stop eating all beef unless someone can prove to me that the PBB I'm hauling around in my innards can vaporize the damn human-brain-eating mad cow parasites.

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Ƃɂ΁AAcnC}[aƐffĂ鍇O̎s̓A20lقǂ͎ۂɂُ͂̈̃LAłA̒sǂ͎ۂɂ͋aɂ̂ƂB
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