Culture

R u ready for diseased chickens on your dinner table?

Somehow I missed this one, but I will be following up w/ Senators Merkley and Wyden (not right now as they are busy helping our communities deal with fire) … diseased chickens can now be used per Bloomberg.

First, what diseases are we talking about:

quote: “In July the FSIS approved a petition from the National Chicken Council requesting that slaughterhouses be allowed to process broilers infected with Avian Leukosis — a virus that causes chickens to develop cancerous lesions and tumors. Inspectors would no longer be required to examine the first 300 birds of each flock for signs of the disease, and processors would be able to cut off tumors and lesions and then process the rest of the bird. The approval has led to a proposed rule change that is now before the food safety administrator Paul Kiecker.”

In the days of a supposedly animal disease killing almost 1million people world-wide and 200,000 in US, we want to start eating diseased chickens … really?

Bloomberg quotes similar thoughts, quote, “But the timing of a rule change seems absurd. “We are dealing right now with a pandemic that transferred into humans from an animal source,” Basu added. “Sooner or later it will mutate,” he said of Avian Leukosis. “A poorly regulated meat industry could very well become the source of a new epidemic.”  The CDC reports that “more than six out of every 10 known infectious diseases in people can be spread from animals, and 3 out of every 4 new or emerging infectious diseases in people come from animals.”

And if diseased chickens wasn’t enough to make you want to eat those nuggets, how about also increasing the speed at which chickens go thru the ‘processing line’ (in my simple mind, the faster it goes the more errors, quality excursions from my old manufacturing days) …

quote, “Other efforts to deregulate the chicken industry are similarly worrisome. The USDA is considering another proposed rule change requested by the NCC, which would allow all U.S. poultry factories to increase line speed rates from processing 140 to 175 birds per minute. (As Basu pointed out, it’s hard enough for line workers to detect symptoms of Avian Leukosis at current line speed rates — nearly three birds per second in many plants.)”

Bloomberg also left a possible action for us, “Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey and has recently introduced a bill to suspend all rules allowing meat processors to increase production line speeds during the pandemic. Ohio Representative Marcia Fudge has issued companion legislation in the House.”

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