Sept. 30, 2013
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently in the process of trying to ram through passage of a new “modernization” rule for conventional poultry production that would eliminate a large percentage of USDA inspectors and speed up the factory production process. And existing safeguards, as minimally effective as they currently are, would also be eroded, allowing for more hidden feces, pus, bacteria and chemical contaminants to persist in conventional chicken and turkey meat.
Even though salmonella rates as detected in meat and poultry have been steadily dropping year after year in the U.S., roughly the same numbers of people seem to be getting infected with the pathogen annually. The primary reason for this statistical anomaly appears to be that the current testing methods authorized by the USDA for meat and poultry are wholly inadequate and outdated and actually cover up the presence of contaminants borne on factory farms and in processing plants.
But a whole new set of guidelines being proposed by the USDA will make things even worse by allowing companies to self-inspect themselves, as well as use an even more aggressive barrage of chemicals to treat their tainted meat before selling it to consumers. This is good news for the factory poultry industry, of course, which is expected to cut its costs by about $250 million a year, thanks to its buddies at the USDA, but it’s bad news for consumers who will be subjected to all the toxic consequences.