DeLauro: Beef recall raises question about company, government agency

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, who represents part of Shelton, said news reports are “deeply troubling” that indicate Rancho Feeding Corp. allegedly was buying diseased animals and processing them without the knowledge of U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspectors.

In February, 8.7 million pounds — or one year’s worth of production — of beef and cow parts from the California-based Rancho were recalled, according to a release from DeLauro’s office.

“If true, these allegations are deeply troubling and both Rancho and USDA are going to have to explain themselves to American consumers,” said DeLauro, a 12-term Democrat who has been active in food safety issues.

“I said at the time of the recall that this was a ‘clear indication’ we need to provide inspectors with the necessary tools to protect public health,” she said. “That remains true, and I am deeply concerned that the Food Safety Inspection Service failed to prevent this deception from happening.

Wants investigation, hold people responsible

DeLauro has called for “a full, independent investigation” into the situation. She said this needed “so that the American public understands what happened and can be assured this will not occur again.

“Anyone who knowingly and willingly put American families at risk should be held responsible to the fullest extent of the law,” DeLauro said.

DeLauro is a former chairman of the U.S. House subcommittee responsible for funding the federal Agriculture Department.

Shelton has two members of Congress

The city of Shelton is divided between the Third District, represented by DeLauro, and the Fourth District, represented by fellow Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Himes.

DeLauro lives in New Haven and was first elected to Congress in 1990.