The United States has intervened in a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by the Humane Society against two companies that formerly supplied ground beef to the National School Lunch Program. The lawsuit was filed in federal court in California against Westland Meat Company Inc. and Hallmark Meat Packing Company. The Humane Society’s lawsuit charged that the meat packers defrauded the Agricultural Marketing Service (part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture) by claiming falsely that all cattle at the defendants’ slaughtering facility are treated humanely as required by federal regulations and that the companies did not provide meat for children’s lunches that came from disabled cattle that could not even walk.

In February of 2008, the USDA recalled all ground beef containing meat supplied by the defendants. The companies are no longer suppliers of beef to the National School Lunch Program.

For the full story, read the Department of Justice’s Press Release.