No, not concerns over the beef that is always recalled when E. coli or salmonella contamination is found, but for the other contaminates in beef that isn't recalled!
USA Today reported the recent audit by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Office of Inspector General shows 'growing concerns' over beef containing pesticides, veterinary antibiotics and heavy metals sold to the public. The testing is run by the USDA's FSIS (Food Safety and Inspection Service) which also tests for dangerous pathogens.
From the USA Today's story:
Even when the inspection service does identify a lot of beef with high levels of pesticide or antibiotics, it often is powerless to stop the distribution of that meat because there is no legal limit for those contaminants.
In 2008, for example, Mexican authorities rejected a U.S. beef shipment because its copper levels exceeded Mexican standards, the audit says. But because there is no U.S. limit, the FSIS had no grounds for blocking the beef's producer from reselling the rejected meat in the United States.
"It's unacceptable. These are substances that can have a real impact on public health," says Tony Corbo, a lobbyist for Food and Water Watch, a public interest group. "This administration is making a big deal about promoting exports, and you have Mexico rejecting our beef because of excessive residue levels. It's pretty embarrassing."
Sounds to me like yet another reason to eat local, organic grass-fed meat!