Schwarzenegger vetoes meat recall bill
Gov. Schwarzenegger has vetoed a measure that would have made public the details of beef or poultry recalls. A state and federal agreement that keeps details secret became a point of contention last year after the country’s first reported case of mad cow disease. Some of the recalled beef was served at California restaurants that were unaware that the meat was possibly tainted.
SB 1585 would have required any business that produces, ships or sells recalled meat or poultry products in California to tell the state Department of Health Services. State authorities, working with local health officials, would then notify the public. State health officials said they would be overworked and underfunded if the bill became law and said the measure would effectively kill a 2-year-old agreement between the state DHS and USDA, the agency responsible for issuing all food recalls. The USDA treats beef recall particulars, such as the names and addresses of affected businesses, as proprietary and confidential information.
In his veto message, Schwarzenegger said, “This bill mandates reporting requirements that conflict with the MOU and would compromise California’s ability to obtain timely information from the federal government which would weaken our ability to protect public health.”