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Thursday, July 30, 2009

JBS Swift and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome

I believe this is the second lawsuit. At least that I've seen in print. A couple of dozen people have gotten sick from the recall (see previous Jane articles below). Note, in the High Plains Ag Journal blurb pasted at the end of this post, it isn't the ground round they are eating. We've already been told that JBS Swift has announced plans to bring case meat to a grocer near you and take out all those annoying meat departments at your local supermarket.

Greeley Tribune Sells Citizens Short
JBS Swift Sink Greeley's Goodship Lollipop
Kidney Failure--A JBS Byproduct for Greeley Citizens

Jane Note* I've amended the following paragraphs I originally posted by taking them down. After my luncheon partner clarified that Swift Communications is not related to JBS Swift I realized my assumptions here were all wrong. The Fence Post is in Windsor. The About Us link on the website is blank. I wouldn't be surprised to find that the Greeley Tribune produces much of the content as they are both parented by Swift Communication.. The assumptions were incorrect on my part that Swift Communications and JBS Swift are directly related. It will teach me to not write late at night. I've left the article up discussing the newly filed lawsuit against JBS Swift. I've also added a portion of an article, immediately following, from the Fence Post.

According to the company's prospectus, “Capitalizing on our production platform, we are now pursuing a global direct distribution strategy that will enable us to improve our ability to service current customers and allow us the opportunity to directly service new customers, primarily in the food service and retail channels. ... We intend to shift a significant part of our sales efforts into direct sales to end-user customers in order to capture this incremental margin.”

While this move may not mean anything for consumers in terms of price — grocers would still control that — it could mean a lot to JBS, which stated in its prospectus it intends to cut out the third parties to increase its profit margins. It did so earlier this year by creating a new trucking division, JBS Carriers, based in Greeley to eliminate third-party carriers.

JBS officials have been aggressive since they bought the former Swift & Co. plant two years ago this month, demanding cost efficiencies throughout its operations. It started in Greeley by returning a second shift back to the packing plant and hiring 1,100 more workers, and changes that resulted in $90 million in cost efficiencies. Last year, it acquired an Australian beef packer, Tasman, as well as Smithfield Beef Co. and Five Rivers Cattle Co., which expanded not only the company's beef packing plants, but feedlots. The company now has the capacity to process more than 28,000 head of cattle and 48,500 hogs in the United States. It's parent company, JBS SA (South America), based in Brazil, has acquired other holdings throughout the world.

It's unknown if JBS officials intend to make any changes or expansions to its Greeley plant with the additional money from the public offering. Public offerings are usually a way to raise cash quickly. The sale is still subject to approval by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Suit: Boy was sickened by JBS Swift beef
Suit: Boy was sickened by JBS Swift beef

DENVER (AP)--A New Mexico boy who got sick after eating sirloin from JBS Swift Beef Co., has filed a lawsuit seeking unspecified damages against the Greeley, Colo.-based company.

JBS Swift has recalled 380,000 pounds of beef due to connections with outbreaks of E. coli.

Thirteen-year-old Alex Roerick and his mother, Hollie, of Albuquerque filed their lawsuit July 6 in U.S. District Court in Denver.

Their lawyer, Bill Marler, said July 7 that Alex developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure, after eating shish kabobs made from the meat in May. Marler's firm also represents a California client who developed the illness after eating the meat.

A JBS Swift representative was not immediately available to comment.

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