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    LAST DAY to submit comments on USDA’s proposed rule: allow chicken slaughterhouses to self-inspect →

    CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT COMMENTS ON THIS PROPOSED RULE

    More austerity / deregulation for the American people, endangering our food supply, health, the factory workers, the humane treatment of the animals, and federal jobs — all to allow the industry to maximize profits:

    USDA to Let Industry Self-Inspect Chicken

    The USDA hopes to save $85 million over three years by laying off 1,000 government inspectors and turning over their duties to company monitors who will staff the poultry processing lines in plants across the country.

    The poultry companies expect to save more than $250 million a year because they, in turn will  be allowed to speed up the processing lines to a dizzying 175 birds per minute with one USDA inspector at the end of the line. Currently, traditional poultry lines move at a maximum of 90 birds per minute, with up to three USDA inspectors on line.

    Whistleblower inspectors opposed to the new USDA rule say the companies cannot be trusted to watch over themselves.  They contend that companies routinely pressure their employees not to stop the line or slow it down, making thorough inspection for contaminants, tumors and evidence of disease nearly impossible.  “At that speed, it’s all a blur,” one current inspector tells ABC News.

    CLICK HERE TO READ PROPOSED RULE / SUBMIT COMMENTS

    The problem for workers, advocates say, is that the presence of human inspectors serves as the primary governor of line speed in plants. With USDA inspectors out of the picture, the proposed rule would allow some plants to move from a maximum of 70 to 140 birds per minute to a maximum of 175, a potential boon to the efficiency-minded poultry industry. – USDA Poultry Plant Proposal Could Allow Plants To Speed Up Processing Lines, Stirring Concern For Workers

    If you plan to continue eating chicken that’s inspected by the corporation turning a profit on how many carcasses it can push out the door in an hour, you might find this information from FSIS useful

    According to OMB Watch, a government accountability newsletter, cutbacks at the USDA have coincided with a significant rise in salmonella outbreaks. The group says 2010 was a record year for salmonella infection and 2011 saw 103 poultry, egg and meat recalls because of disease-causing bacteria, the most in nearly 10 years. – Yahoo! News

    In the period from March to August 2011, 90 percent of the defects found by the USDA inspectors involved “visible fecal contamination that was missed by company employees.” – Mother Jones

    CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS 

    — 1 year ago with 1 note
    #class war  #income redistribution  #news  #politics  #unemployment  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #chicken  #federal employees  #federal workers  #food supply  #fsis  #good luck  #GOP  #health inspectors  #let the industry regulate itself  #poultry inspectors  #public health  #regulation  #Republicans  #salmonella  #slaughterhouses  #USDA  #WTF 
    I won’t be eating chicken: USDA to lay off hundreds of inspectors, let poultry slaughterhouses inspect themselves →

    What could go wrong? Here is one of those Republican austerity measures that all of us will need to accept so that millionaires won’t have to pay higher taxes:

    READ PROPOSED RULE / SUBMIT COMMENTS BY APRIL 26, 2012

    USDA to Let Industry Self-Inspect Chicken

    As early as next week, the government will end debate on a cost-cutting, modernization proposal it hopes to fully implement by the end of the year. A plan that is setting off alarm bells among food science watchdogs because it turns over most of the chicken inspection duties to the companies that produce the birds for sale.

    The USDA hopes to save $85 million over three years by laying off 1,000 government inspectors and turning over their duties to company monitors who will staff the poultry processing lines in plants across the country.

    The poultry companies expect to save more than $250 million a year because they, in turn will  be allowed to speed up the processing lines to a dizzying 175 birds per minute with one USDA inspector at the end of the line.  Currently, traditional poultry lines move at a maximum of 90 birds per minute, with up to three USDA inspectors on line.

    Whistleblower inspectors opposed to the new USDA rule say the companies cannot be trusted to watch over themselves.  They contend that companies routinely pressure their employees not to stop the line or slow it down, making thorough inspection for contaminants, tumors and evidence of disease nearly impossible.  “At that speed, it’s all a blur,” one current inspector tells ABC News.

    And from Mother Jones:

    But Food & Water Watch’s investigation of the USDA’s longtime pilot program to test the new procedures casts serious doubt on the food safety claim. Using the Freedom of Information Act, FWW obtained inspection documents from slaughterhouses in the pilot program for the first eight months of 2011. The reports relate to the 20 to 80 randomly selected birds the USDA inspectors looked at during each shift to check up on company-hired inspectors. The results, from FWW’s summary, make pink slime look downright appetizing (full report here):

    Company employees miss many defects in poultry carcasses. The inspection category that had the highest error rate was ‘Other Consumer Protection 4′ for dressing defects such as feathers, lungs, oil glands, trachea and bile still on the carcass. The average error rate for this category in the chicken slaughter facilities was 64 percent and 87 percent in turkey slaughter facilities. In one turkey slaughter facility, nearly 100 percent of samples found this category of defect.

    It gets worse. In the period from March to August 2011, 90 percent of the defects found by the USDA inspectors involved “visible fecal contamination that was missed by company employees.” One inspector’s report contained this unsettling anecdote:

    I observed a section of intestine wrapped around the rotating paddles in the neck chiller. The intestine was approximately 1 1/2 feet in length, contained fecal material. Additionally, numerous other pieces [of] digestive tract materials, such as chicken crops and esophagus were also observed in the neck chiller…This regulatory noncompliance would potentially allow for the cross contamination of necks by digestive contents material such as ingesta and/or feces.

    Ugh. FWW reports that the public has until April 26 to comment on the program, which could be rolled out as soon as October. Meanwhile, the USDA has made clear that it wants to institute the new rules.

    It’s all about money. The GOP cares about the corporations, their CEOs, and their profits — not the employees, and definitely not the public health.  Oh, and it also looks good to their ignorant teaparty base to be able to say they had a hand in laying off hundreds of federal workers. That’s gotta be the icing on the cake. That these feds protect our food supply doesn’t matter a bit. It’s the U.S. of Corporatism: profit over people.

    READ PROPOSED RULE / SUBMIT COMMENTS BY APRIL 26, 2012

    Anyway, if you plan to continue eating chicken that’s inspected by the corporation turning a profit on how much it can push out the door in an hour, you might find this information from FSIS useful:

    Salmonella Questions and Answers

    — 2 years ago with 174 notes
    #FAIL  #income redistribution  #journalism  #news  #politics  #security / safety  #vote!  #war on the middle class  #1. tax cuts for the wealthy  #2. austerity for the rest of us  #chicken  #federal employees  #federal workers  #food supply  #fsis  #good luck  #GOP  #health inspectors  #let the industry regulate itself  #poultry inspectors  #public health  #regulation  #Republicans  #salmonella  #slaughterhouses  #USDA  #WTF