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If Americans thought the whole issue of disgraceful sanitary conditions in slaughter houses and packing plants was settled with publication of Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" -- and subsequent enactment of the Meat Inspection Act back in the first decade of this century -- then they have grounds for dismay. Recent surprise visits by federal inspectors to meat and poultry plants found one- fourth of those plants in violation of federal standards. The government must be vigorous in demanding compliance, which, after all, is not exactly a new requirement.

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