Tell the USDA: We Have the Right to Know What’s in the Dangerous Poultry ‘Modernization’ Act!
|Photo: WSPA Canada via Compfight cc|
When consumers, food safety advocates and 68 members of Congress objected to a new rule that could lead to more contaminated poultry in grocery stores, and endanger the safety of workers who slaughter chickens, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) revised the rule.
But the USDA refuses to divulge the changes it made to the Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection rule until the final rule is published in the Federal Register.
And it won’t give the public a chance to comment.
Tell the Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack: We want to know what’s in the revised Poultry Modernization Act, and we want the agency to open a new public comment period so we can respond to the changes.
Earlier this year, more than 100 groups (including the Organic Consumers Association) signed a letter to President Obama and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack urging them to rescind what Food & Water Watch dubbed the “Filthy Chicken Rule.”
Hundreds of thousands of consumers also publicly opposed the rule.
How did the USDA respond? By making “secret” changes to the rule and then working to push through a final version without public comment.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) introduced an amendment to the spending bill that would have prohibited the USDA from spending any funds to implement the rule. She had this to say about the USDA’s secret changes and refusal to allow comments:
“Secretary Vilsack is well aware of my concerns with the proposed poultry processing rule, and the detrimental effect the draft rule would have on food and worker safety, as well as animal welfare. This rulemaking process is not over and I will continue to fight. The fact is that not all stakeholders were equally engaged in this process. I remain concerned this rule drops food safety oversight from USDA into the hands of the industry itself and places workers in jeopardy. The Administration needs to address the concerns raised by myself, other members of Congress, and worker, consumer and animal welfare advocates, as they continue to finalize the rule. The Administration should also publish the revised rule now, open a 120 day comment period, and hold public meetings around the country. We need more transparency and public health stakeholders need to receive due consideration.”
Poultry is already the most deadly source of food borne illness. And working in a poultry processing plant is already one of the most dangerous jobs in America.
The “Filthy Chicken Rule,” written largely by Tyson Foods, is nothing more than an attempt to deregulate the poultry inspection and processing industry, to put more profit in the pockets of companies like Tyson. By allowing company employees to “inspect” chicken, and increasing the speed at which workers must process chickens, it puts both consumers and workers at risk.
Please sign our petition, asking the USDA to give the public a chance to be heard before the “Filthy Chicken Rule” dictates conditions in slaughterhouses nationwide.
Created on: July 16, 2014