On Thursday, September 26th, a coalition of food and worker safety advocates and allies rolled out the names of over 500,000 people opposing a rollback to the USDA poultry processing system that could increase food poisoning for American consumers and put workers at risk of serious harm.
The press conference showcased a man in a chicken suit covered in “feces”, “bile”, “pus”, “salmonella”, and “campylobacter”. The groups involved, including Interfaith Worker Justice, Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, Center for Effective Government, Food and Water Watch, Government Accountability Project, AFGE, SumOfUs.org, and others rolled out papers with the names of 500,000 people who have signed action alerts, petitions or comments opposing this rule (like this one from retired poultry inspector Phyllis Mckively). Advocates encouraged the White House to take the many concerns of these groups into considerations instead of moving forward with the change.
“Mounting opposition and media attention to loosening USDA inspection in meat processing is making more people conclude that the administration is more responsive to increasing industry profits than protecting consumers from contaminants,” said Tony Corbo, Senior Lobbyist at Food & Water Watch.
This industry-friendly regulation is bad for consumers and poultry workers. In fact USDA’s own evidence on the impacts of this rule change is seriously flawed. Up to 75% of USDA inspectors will be removed and replaced with factory employees, reducing federal oversight and increasing the danger of poultry contamination, chemical residue, and food poisoning bacteria. In addition, the rule change would place poultry factory workers at severely increased risk of injury and chemical exposure by increasing production speed by up to 25 percent.
To take action against this pro-industry, anti-consumer regulation, sign the petition to President Obama urging him to reverse the USDA’s horrible poultry regulations. VIEW THE PETITION HERE: http://action.sumofus.org/a/usda-chicken/?sub=pr–