The USDA backs off its tough new meat-inspection standards. That's a good thing, beef producers say.

Supreme Beef's fight with the government was detailed in a December 21, 2000, Dallas Observer cover story, "Slaughterhouse Jive." During the last few months, Spiritas has liquidated Supreme Beef's assets as part of bankruptcy.

"All of the equipment has been auctioned off, and the building has been listed for sale in Dallas," he says. "We're talking about a building that has been an active meat operation and goes back to the '30s in this part of town. It's sad to see this street empty where there used to be a hundred trucks lined up."

Spiritas says he's working on plans to get back into the beef-producing business, but not without reservations.

Brian Stauffer

"I'm very concerned as to how the government would treat me in business," he says. "I know how they treated me before, and it could not have been worse."

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