The owner of the California beef-processing facility entwined in a national recall of 8.7 million pounds of beef has released a statement insisting that independent ranchers caught up in the recall should not be required to recall their beef. Jesse Amaral, owner of Rancho Feed Corp. for more than 40 years, issued a statement through his attorneys on Wednesday in an attempt to clarify some facts. First, he said he was “very sorry” for any impact the situation has had on his customers and the meat-buying public. Amaral went on to point out that he and the company are cooperating with the federal government as it continues investigating allegations that Rancho processed “diseased and unsound animals” and carried out operations without full inspection. As part of the recall, several independent ranchers have been swept up in the blanket orders. Some, such as Bill Niman (featured in a recent Point Reyes Light article), have asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to exempt them from the recall, which has already caused severe financial damage in some cases. Ranchers such as Niman say their relatively small amounts of beef were processed under the watch of USDA inspectors and ranch managers. “None of Bill Niman’s cows, or the meat from other local custom beef ranchers, were in any way tainted, diseased, or uninspected,” Amaral’s statement reads. “The records and documentation obtained by federal investigators support this fact.” The statement went on to say that there was no reason for the government to detain meat from small, local ranchers who produced meat that was wholesome and fully inspected. Along with Niman, the recall has affected a number of Bay Area ranchers known for specialization in grass-fed beef. Because of the ongoing federal investigation, both Rancho and USDA remain mum regarding the exact cause of the recall. On Wednesday, Food Safety News published the latest on the developing story.