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The Fox Is Guarding The Henhouse

December 3, 2014

usda USDAlogo_WEB

In case you missed it (and you probably did), the U.S. Dept of Agriculture has a new rule regarding how poultry plants can operate and its 400 pages long. 

But don’t worry, my friends at HSI Online will be more than happy to explain why you should be very afraid:

The rule from the USDA that went into effect at the end of October marks the biggest change in how our government intends to keep us “safe” where poultry is concerned in half a century.

It will allow poultry plants to shave down the number of federal USDA inspectors to just one. Any other inspection will be done “in house,” by company employees.

And that one lone government inspector better be superhuman, because those birds will be whizzing by for inspection at the rate of 140 a minute.

That’s almost 3 chickens a second!

To make matters even worse, that single inspector won’t even be seeing those “flying” chickens until they’ve been totally “prepped” with their giblets removed and ready to send to your supermarket.

chicken_farmThere are only two groups that will come out ahead here.

The United States Department of Agriculture and the poultry industry.

The USDA will save over 90 million bucks in the next few years by not having to pay all those federal inspectors. And chicken processors — why they will get everything they always dreamed of.

But as for us consumers, we can look forward to chicken that may contain hidden manure, pus, chemicals, and even more bacteria than it does already.

And it’s all because of what’s called a “modernization” rule just made final by the USDA. But “modern” isn’t really the critical point here.

It was way back in 1906 when Congress passed the first meat inspection law. Before that, poultry processors were allowed to run things exactly as they wanted to. And they did.

And now they will again.

Before, a UDSA inspector was required to be on the line and not just to look at every single chicken, but to look inside it and check for any issues there, too.

With 140 chickens a minute flashing before their eyes, you can bet that won’t be going on.

chickeninspSince federal meat inspectors have the authority to stop that production line if they see a problem, I’m sure the poultry industry is delighted with this rule. Because any time a line stops, it hits their bottom line big time.

So things like pulling out diseased and dirty chickens before they get to the supermarket will now be in the hands of company employees.

Imagine what that means could be landing on our dinner plates!

Now, in case you’re wondering what became of that 1906 inspection law…

Well, so are all those federal inspectors…and their union.

AFGE-Files-Suit-to-Stop-USDA-s-Filthy-Poultry-Inspection-Rule_blog_post_fullWidth

At the end of October, the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) filed a lawsuit against the USDA.

AFGE president, J. David Cox Sr. said that this new rule “flies in the face of reality and will allow potentially contaminated and diseased poultry to be sold to American consumers.”

“It’s ridiculous, dangerous and against the law, and it must be stopped,” he added.

When this rule was proposed two years ago, hundreds of thousands of people wrote to the USDA asking that the agency withdraw it. But that didn’t change anyone’s mind there one bit.

I guess the USDA already knew what the mission was.

And since this rule is “final,” there is only one thing left for us to do. Because it looks like it’s going to take an act of Congress to undo what the USDA has put into action.

So we need to contact members of Congress now, and to let them know that we’ve had it with the USDA “playing chicken with our health.”

chickens3

We can’t allow poultry plants to cut the number of federal USDA inspectors to just one. The function of government is to serve and protect the people. Allowing big companies to police themselves without government oversight is never a good thing.  Now is the time to contact your Senators and Representatives and urge them to take action to protect us. To find out how to reach your representatives in Washington, click on the link below:

http://www.usa.gov/Contact/US-Congress.shtml

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#chicken, #health, #meatinspectors, #USDA, #WeNeedMoreMeatInspectors

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