The USDA is about to slash regulations for poultry plants, saving big corporations millions at the expense of public health and workers’ safety.
Instead of trained USDA inspectors, companies will police themselves. Meanwhile, plants will be allowed to speed up production dramatically. Chickens will spend more time soaking in contaminants (including pus and feces!), and poultry plants are compensating by washing them in with chlorine. Independent experts like Food and Water Watch have shown that the new system is likely to miss serious contamination, including diseases like salmonella.
Now the only person who can reverse these regulations is President Obama. We need to send a clear message that these disgusting rules are unacceptable before the USDA tries to expand them to the pork and beef industries.
Sign our petition to President Obama: we demand real regulation of the poultry industry.
It isn’t just consumers who’ll suffer from these new regulations. Poultry workers who have to perform repetitive motions with sharp knives already risk serious cuts or losing fingers every day, and many suffer muscular, joint, and back problems after years on the job. Speeding up production will increase the injury rates. Meanwhile, the new chemical wash that will treat feces-stained chickens could cause skin and breathing problems.
Why is the USDA pushing regulations that are bad for workers and consumers? The answer is corporate welfare, with a side of austerity. The federal government will save money by laying off factory inspectors, but the big poultry companies like Tyson and Purdue will be able to push out more chickens with less oversight. The USDA estimates that the poultry industry stands to make more than $250 million a year from the new rules.
The USDA thinks it’s just fine for workers to get hurt and consumers to be fed chicken poop so poultry companies can increase their profits. We beg to differ.
Click here to tell the President to reverse the USDA’s disgusting poultry regulations