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USDA considering privatizing meat/poultry inspections

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Originally Posted: April 9, 2012

USDA considering privatizing meat/poultry inspections

[Ed. Note: For background and detailed information, read Privatization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection and Animal Advocacy.]

FROM Daily Kos

ACTION

The USDA is moving forward with plans to privatize part of its meat and poultry inspection programs. There is a comment period which runs through April 26. Let's try to make them wish they had never thought of this stupid idea!

Currently animals are always tortured throughout the slaughter process and the USDA inspectors have done very little to alleviate any of the suffering, and they have done very little to provide "safe food" for people who continue to eat animals. However, having industry employees be in charge of inspections will take this disastrous brutality from bad to worse!

Send comments:
http://www.regulations.gov/#%21documentDetail;D=FSIS-2011-0012-0001

And/or better yet, make direct contact:

Tom Vilsack
Secretary of Agriculture
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue S.W.
Washington, DC 20250
phone (202) 720-3631
fax (202) 720-2166
email
mailto:AgSec@usda.gov

Contact your U.S. Senators
http://www.senate.gov/
 
Contact your U.S. Representative
http://www.house.gov/
 
INFORMATION / TALKING POINTS

Don't like shit in your meat/poultry? Well too bad cause if the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) moves forward with plans to privatize part of its meat and poultry inspection program that's what you'll get.

Under the current rules, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is responsible for inspecting all chicken and turkey carcasses for things like bruises, bile, and yes, shit, before they’re sent for further processing. The proposed HACCP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) would remove those USDA inspectors from the lines, leaving poultry plant employees, who already stand in a fast moving I-Love-Lucy style line to flag unsanitary or otherwise flawed birds

It's a plain and simple job cutting, money saving measure.  The program is projected to save FSIS up to $95 million over three years, and to give a $250 million boost to poultry companies.

“All [HIMP] really is, is a way to dramatically lower quality and standards,” says Amanda Hitt, director of the Government Accountability Project’s Food Integrity Campaign. Poultry, she adds, “shouldn’t have feathers, scabs, blisters and pustules. It shouldn’t have feces in the cavity. These are all things that now, under HIMP, are going to be left to the plants to deal with.”

Not surprisingly, republicans are all over this like ants over honey. This is what they do. And how well has that worked out? It's been a disaster from our privatized health care system to our privatized wars. The profits first ideology has undermined our population and our democracy.  

This is an assault on food safety and public health and although there are rumors that the program could start as early as October we may be able to influence this debacle.


Thank you for everything you do for animals!