Feb 19, 2010
This story was forwarded to me today and it really causes me no end of concern!!
In this story, a man posed as a veterinarian for many years and ended up working for our own USDA, inspecting our meat and the facilities where food is processed. He also supervised several employees.
Two private firms had uncovered his lack of education, but somehow this slipped by the USDA. According to the news story, the USDA even ignored a whistleblower until the news reporter showed up at their offices asking questions about this guy.
So, for me there are really two big issues here. First, that this guy has the guts to pose as a veterinarian and then assume he is qualified to do inspections. I have to wonder what he missed and if the public was ever at risk.
Second, this sort of blatant oversight is not restoring my faith in our government agencies and it is certainly not a positive reason that our federal government needs to grow even more!
I am so happy that I am part of several organizations that will help to eliminate these kinds of issues. First, the American Society of Veterinary Journalism (ASVJ) has started to credential and certify individuals who provide animal health stories in the news or on websites. Soon, you will be able to look for the Seal of Approval from the ASVJ (like the Seal of Approval for meteorologists) and for the credentials, Certified Veterinary Journalist (CVJ) after their name.
Also, the Veterinary News Network and PetDocsOnCall.com are offering pet owners up to date and trustworthy pet health information.
What do you think? Does the USDA have any sort of excuse or defense? What about the individual who posed as a veterinarian...how should he be punished?