Representatives of the OU, KAJ, Star-K and Lubicom (the kosher industry trade and PR orgainzation that puts on Kosher Fest and publishes Kosher Today) appear to have been in a meeting just over one year ago with the United States Secretary of Agriculture Ann M. Veneman.
The purpose of the meeting?
Allegedly to amend UDSD Directive 6900.2 to favor AgriProcessors/Rubashkin and allow the throat-ripping and other procedures seen on the PETA video. This meeting occurred shortly after PETA's first complaint to Rubashkin and the OU, but before PETA filed a complaint with the USDA.
The first version of the USDA Directive 6900.2 was issued on October 7, 2003. The revised version was issued on November 25, 2003. The rabbis' meeting with USDA Secretary Ann M. Veneman allegedly took place sometime between those two dates.
PETA's first written correspondence with Rubashkin is dated June 18, 2003. PETA's threat to go public with its findings is dated November 3, 2003, right in the time-period specified above.
Why didn't PETA file a complaint earlier with the USDA? Because PETA was trying to keep the issue quiet and to work with the rabbis and with Rubashkin.
But when that proved impossible, PETA sent in an undercover investigator to video the plant. That process – trying repeatedly to work with Rubashkin, failing to gain cooperation from AgriProcessors, finding the volunteer and sending him in undercover, getting the video and trying to work with Rubashkin and the OU again – took just over one year.
More to come as this story develops.