Contaminant Limits Needed for U.S. Beef

WASHINGTON, April 13 (UPI) — Americans are eating beef that contains pesticides, animal antibiotics and heavy metals, an audit prepared by a U.S. inspector general indicates.

The Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Agriculture Department says the problem stems from the fact that responsible agencies haven’t set limits for contaminants and don’t adequately test for them, USA Today reports.

Food safety inspectors can’t stop the distribution of beef with contaminants because the Environmental Protection Agency and the Food and Drug Administration haven’t established limits, the audit found.

As an example, the audit report says in 2008 Mexican authorities rejected a U.S. beef shipment because its copper levels exceeded Mexican standards.

Because there was no U.S. limit established, food safety inspectors couldn’t prevent the rejected meat from being sold in the United States.

The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service says it will work with the EPA and FDA on “corrective actions.”

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