Organic Consumers Association

URGENT: Stop the Filthy Chicken Rule & the Tyson Foods Anti-Farmer Act!

The U.S. House of Representatives could soon vote on its 2015 agriculture spending bill. If Tyson Foods, the nation’s largest factory farm producer of beef, chicken and pork gets its way, the bill will help the company continue to slaughter chickens in filthy and dangerous conditions and cheat the farmers who raise animals for companies like Tyson.

Don’t let Tyson Foods rule the roost when it comes to food safety or farmers’ rights. Please tell your U.S. Representative to VOTE YES on an amendment introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) to stop the Filthy Chicken Rule, and an amendment introduced by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) to stop the Tyson Foods Anti-Farmer Act.

The Tyson Foods Anti-Farmer Act

Tyson Foods says that rules written by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Grain Inspection, Packers & Stockyards Administration (GIPSA) will hurt consumers and “increase the price of meat products.” Tyson’s supports a provision, known as the GIPSA rider, in the agriculture spending bill to block the GIPSA rules.

The GIPSA rules were written to protect the farmers who raise animals, under contract, for companies like Tyson Foods. That’s why we’ve renamed the GIPSA rider the “Tyson Foods Anti-Farmer Act.” Because the rider is really about protecting Tyson Foods’ ability to cheat its farmers. Specifically, Tyson Foods wants to keep the way it calculates farmers’ pay a secret and to punish farmers who complain about being treated unfairly.

The Filthy Chicken Rule

As much as Tyson Foods hates the GIPSA rules that would protect its farmers from abuse, it loves another USDA rule that would privatize poultry inspection, put companies in charge of their own inspections, and then increase the slaughtering line speed.

The official name of this rule is the “Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection Rule.” But Food & Water Watch calls it the “Filthy Chicken Rule” because it would almost guarantee higher levels of contaminants in slaughtered birds. First, by drastically reducing the number of government inspectors. And second, by increasing the line speeds from 140 birds to 175 birds per minute.

Two members of Congress are taking a stand against the Filthy Chicken Rule and Tyson Foods Anti-Farmer Act with amendments to the House agriculture spending bill.

Rep. DeLauro is offering an amendment to prohibit the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from spending any funds to implement the Filthy Chicken Rule.

Rep. Pingree's amendment would limit the Tyson Foods Anti-Farmer Act by allowing the USDA to ensure farmers have the right to free speech and transparency in how their pay is calculated.

Please help us pass these amendments. The best way to do that is to flood every member of Congress’s office with emails and phone calls. Your Congressperson’s phone number will appear when you enter your contact information. Thank you!

Created on: July 3, 2014