April 5, 2012
Latest move by USDA puts your health at risk
We received an urgent request for solidarity support this week from AFGE, the federal government employees’ union, which represents workers at the United States Department of Agriculture. USDA is up to no-good in a big way:
I hope you don’t mind a little salmonella and E. coli in your chicken, because if the USDA gets its way chicken contaminated with disease, feathers, and other really disgusting stuff could be on its way to your dinner plate within the year.
Around 3,000 Americans already die from food-borne illnesses each year. But now, budget cuts are driving the USDA to propose a new plan that would lay off thousands of AFGE food safety inspectors…and ask the rest to inspect 175 chickens per minute. That’s over 3 chickens per second!
We’ve seen many outlandish, unfair, and downright stupid consequences of budget cutting fever in the last year. I didn’t think I could be surprised anymore. I knew politicians were willing to attack federal workers and slash services that create jobs and keep Americans safe.
This new inspection system for poultry slaughter plants is another example of attacks on everyday Americans going overboard. And this time it’s our kids and families being put at risk. The new rule would eliminate about 1,000 jobs and cut corners on our health at a time when billionaires and corporations are getting tax breaks. It’s shocking.
If we win this fight, we’ll call attention to a textbook case of how federal workers serve our national community. We’ll save jobs. We’ll protect the public health. And we’ll all be able to eat chicken without wondering if it’s safe.