The Inspector General of the Agriculture Department has accused the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of failing to adequately protect the U.S. from importation of foreign animal diseases.

The audit report, “Food Safety and Inspection Service Imported Meat and Poultry Reinspection Process, Phase II,” identified over 7.7 million lb. of products that entered U.S. commerce between 1999-2001 without documented eligibility. This included 66,299 lb. of meat from plants that were banned from trading because they didn't comply with U.S. food safety laws or had animal disease outbreaks. Some of the meat came from plants in Argentina, Uruguay, United Kingdom and Italy — countries that had foot-and-mouth disease outbreaks in 2001.