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Please share. ChickenJustice.org
August is Clean & Safe Chicken Month. Ok, we made that up but we can win a small but meaningful victory. Clean and Safe Chicken is achievable – this month, before the USDA implements a terrible new rule. Please help.

The USDA plans to “modernize” chicken production by:
1. eliminating 75% of USDA inspectors and permitting corporations to police themselves, using untrained employees;
2. speeding up production lines so it’s not possible to inspect and remove chickens contaminated with poop, pus, scabs, and rotten flesh;
3. assuming contamination, so all birds will be washed with chlorine.

Spend a couple of minutes to support workers, protect our food supply, and take a stand against de-regulation. That, and more information are below the orange drawing of salmonella bacteria.

You can stop the rule before the USDA tries to implement it in the fall:

*Call the White House Comment Line (M-F 9-5 EST) 202-456-1111
     or send a comment to the White House (check box to get a response)

*Post on your social media accounts and email friends.

*Tweet Michelle Obama @FLOTUS – she cares about safe, healthy food and we need her help!

*Sign up to support the campaign.

You won’t be surprised that food safety scientists, industrial hygienists on worker safety, government accountability experts, animal rights activists, and USDA inspectors -- everybody not connected with the industry -- has spoken against the proposed rule. For more information and the comments by every major food safety, worker safety, government accountability, and animal rights group opposing this rule : www.ChickenJustice.org

FOOD SAFETY
The USDA says it is replacing visual inspection with testing for dangerous microbes, yet factories which piloted the new rules had just as high (and higher) levels of salmonella. There are concerns that the chlorine wash will mask, but not eliminate, the salmonella -- making it difficult to test for but still dangerous to eat. Consumers will eat food with  chlorine residue. Under the pilot program, USDA inspector/whistleblowers reported chickens remain on the production line with feces, pus, bile, and fetid flesh remain .

GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY
The USDA has driven the implementation of this rule, ignoring the normal procedures for creating new rules, soliciting input, and its focus on food safety. The USDA has repeatedly explained this rule is important because it will save the highly profitable meat industry $260 million dollars annually. The rule gives inspection responsibility to untrained company employees, despite every evidence that “self-regulation” is a dangerous weakening of government regulation. Food safety is too important to leave in the hands of an industry which has repeatedly demonstrated willingness to cut corners in the pursuit of higher profits.

WORKER SAFETY
Injury rates at poultry processing plants are astronomical. Faster line speeds will mean more injuries and ever-higher rates of repetitive motion disabilities. The USDA states that increased production rates will not affect worker safety, but there’s no actual evidence and OSHA is planning a 3-year study – starting next year.

MORE ANIMAL SUFFERING
Increased production speeds will result in more chickens and turkeys suffering, since there will be more errors in the slaughtering process.

So, what is the “modernization” that the new rules create? Food that is no more safe. Food contaminated with more poop, pus, scabs, rotten flesh, and chlorine. More injured workers. Animals that suffer more during the production process. More profits for corporations -- if that's what makes it more modern, join us in rejecting it. We can stop it right now. Please tell the administration this isn't what modern means to you and share it with friends and allies. Thank you!

Originally posted to InterfaithWorkerJustice on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:43 AM PDT.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Oh God ,,now I need (5+ / 0-)

    brain bleach.....I think I just became a vegeterian.

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:49:32 AM PDT

    •  Not the worst reaction, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phonegery, maryabein, remembrance

      given the fact that raw poultry is regularly contaminated with E. coli and other goodies anyway.

      Standards for the production of animal-based food products are already disgusting enough, and all that production is just a strain on the environment anyway.  

      Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

      by corvo on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:01:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  all that production is a profit-based abomination (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, Bob Love, remembrance, Vetwife, Kevskos

        small farms and farmers did a better job before Reagan ran them off for ADF and Monsanto.

        The Gee Oh Pee has defunded food inspectors.
        We're marching backwards fast under these uckers.

        LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

        by BlackSheep1 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:26:23 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No doubt the USDA is shot through (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Kevskos

          with Gee Oh Pee-ers, but it's worth noting that ultimately it reports to a Democratic appointee.  The same one whose bureaucracy forced the resignation of Shirley Sherrod, if memory serves.

          The USDA has been overdue for a major cleanup or shakeup for quite some time now.  Curious it keeps on not happening.

          Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

          by corvo on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:48:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Even Veggies (0+ / 0-)

      are not safe.

  •  Duly noted. (5+ / 0-)

    Poop and bleach on food OK.

    Don't smoke pot, though - that's bad.

    Clean your gun.

    #AmericanPriorites

  •  This is unconscionable...but expected in this age. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, phonegery, remembrance

    I am sure there are some huge corporations that make their billions thru chicken processing.  This is a notoriously nasty industry, given to contamination and problems under the best of conditions, where many chickens are raised in stacked coops and never touch the ground during their lifetimes; and the shit falls through the cages from the upper levels onto the chickens beneath.

    Ayn sucks. Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer.

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:55:24 AM PDT

    •  I have noticed a rise in ads for products with (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, phonegery, Bob Love, Catte Nappe

      peanuts and peanut butter in them, and peanut oil is back on the shelves, now that we are several years down the road from rusty rat poop dripping from the ceilings onto the line at the peanut butter plant. I wonder have they fixed it or have we all just forgotten.

      Salmonella is nothing to ignore. I had it "once" which amounts to explosive painful diarrhea every hour and a half for ten days...and six weeks of weakness and fatigue for recovery.

      We are all pupils in the eyes of God.

      by nuclear winter solstice on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:02:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ultimately the moral seems to be: (3+ / 0-)

        If it comes from a factory, it ain't food.  Of course, this leaves those of us who don't raise our own food, or have direct access to someone who does, with relatively few options.

        Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

        by corvo on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:05:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  So what's the problem? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        corvo, nuclear winter solstice
        I had it "once" which amounts to explosive painful diarrhea every hour and a half for ten days...and six weeks of weakness and fatigue for recovery.
        More $$$ for the healthcare industry and if you die, more $$$ for the funeral people (plus one less 'useless eater' for the 1% to concern themselves with).
    •  Pilgrim's Pride and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      Tyson poison us with mass-production.

      LBJ, Van Cliburn, Ike, Wendy Davis, Lady Bird, Ann Richards, Barbara Jordan, Molly Ivins, Sully Sullenburger, Drew Brees: Texas is NO Bush League!

      by BlackSheep1 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:26:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Yuck! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo

    I may stop eating chicken.

    "If Wall Street paid a tax on every “game” they run, we would get enough revenue to run the government on." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:08:06 AM PDT

  •  Trader Joe, and others selling prepared food (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlackSheep1, corvo, Vetwife

    to take home
    may not be so happy about the reduced  oversight.

      A lot of the prepared meals they sell feature chicken.  Add the excrement factor to how well has the temperature control/shelf life factor been maintained, and you have to wonder.

    Time is a long river.

    by phonegery on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:16:49 AM PDT

  •  Thanks for alerting us, InterfaithWorkerJustice. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein, remembrance

    Tweeted now, more action later today.

    Welcome from the DK Partners & Mentors Team. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Knowledge Base or from the New Diarists Resources Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.

    "Compassion is not weakness, and concern for the unfortunate is not socialism." Hubert H. Humphrey

    by nomandates on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:21:46 AM PDT

  •  Oh goodness gracious (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo
    1. eliminating 75% of USDA inspectors and permitting corporations to police themselves, using untrained employees;
    We are spinning backwards at an alarming rate. Policing themselves worked very well in the banking industry.
    •  Savings? Not for taxpayers! (0+ / 0-)

      Cutting back on inspectors won't save anything off of the USDA budget- the companies get charged for the inspectors wages and benefits.  All the "savings" go to the processing company, at the expense of the public health.

  •  There are many ramifications to the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    InterfaithWorkerJustice

    Congressional habit of rationing dollars. This is one of them.

    It is possible that the people we send to Washington don't know that all dollars originate with the Congress. Perhaps they believe that having delegated responsibility  for the currency to the Federal Reserve, the Congress is now at the mercy of the banksters to allocate dollars and determine how many get recycled. If so, they are wrong nd need to be enlightened or replaced.
    Congress saving dollars on inspections makes about as much sense as leaving off the TOP on stop signs to save letters. Dollars are just like letter. The only difference is that instead of symbolizing the sounds of language to express ideas, dollars symbolize the value of goods and services we exchange and facilitate their trade. While we could communicate with signs and commit all our obligations to memory, using symbols is more efficient -- unless somebody decides to hoard or sequester them or come up with some other rationale to prevent their use.
    (For an example of the latter we need simply refer to the issuance of debit cards instead of cash with which people can purchase food on the grounds that the recipients cannot be trusted to purchase food from the designated and approved merchants).
    Substituting a chemical wash for visual inspection is yet another attempt to deprive individual persons of a meaningful job. On the other hand, when persons are made ill after eating contaminated food, the medical industry gets an opportunity to rescue a person from organ failure with mechanical means. Got to keep those machines humming.

    http://www.cspinet.org/...

    Government regulations have contributed to the problem as well. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which oversees the production of 7 billion chickens and 277 million turkeys each year, allows several practices that contribute to high contamination rates in poultry:

    USDA allows poultry carcasses to be placed in hot water baths, called scalders, to loosen feathers and then chilled in large vats of water, a process known as immersion chilling. This allows contaminated poultry carcasses to infect clean carcasses. Because Salmonella populations can grow from a few bacteria into a health threat, contamination of clean carcasses with even small numbers of harmful bacteria must be prevented.

    Based on a policy change in 1978 allowing "reprocessing," the USDA decided that, instead of condemning contaminated carcasses, the industry can simply wash the contamination off with chlorinated water. This resulted in condemnation rates for poultry dropping dramatically, which means that consumers are eating more of this once-contaminated poultry. While some plants can reprocess poultry and produce a product at least equivalent to one that wasn't initially contaminated, other plants show large jumps in the percent of reprocessed carcasses that are contaminated with Salmonella.

    USDA allows skin to be added to ground poultry products. Since skin harbors bacteria in its pores and folds, it can be the most highly contaminated part of the carcass. By permitting the addition of skin into ground product, USDA is allowing much higher levels of certain harmful bacteria in ground poultry products than in ground beef products, which are not allowed to contain skin.

    We organize governments to deliver services and prevent abuse.

    by hannah on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 08:57:43 AM PDT

  •  Thank you for this diary. (2+ / 0-)

    I have experienced campylobacter jejuni food poisoning directly linked to chicken. It was not pleasant. I have written the White House using the appropriate link.

    The man who moves a mountain begins by moving away small stones. -Confucius

    by Malachite on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 11:09:05 AM PDT

  •  I tweeted out your post (0+ / 0-)

    and it was shared here, scroll down to the bottom under Health.

    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass... it is about learning to dance in the rain." ~ Vivanne Grenne Shop Kos Katalogue!

    by remembrance on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 12:55:10 PM PDT

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