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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:
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.
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