Tag archives for USDA
When President Obama signed the Food Safety Modernization Act into law in 2011, it was described as the most sweeping reform of the nation’s food safety laws in nearly a century. Public health advocates hailed the law for shifting regulatory authority from reaction to prevention. What received less attention was a first-of-its-kind provision that protects workers who expose food safety lawbreakers.
The Obama Administration still has time to abandon its ill-conceived new regulation on poultry inspection. We’ll see if the Administration decides to treat poultry workers better than the firms that employ them.
The wisdom of USDA’s plan to privatize poultry inspection is striking newspaper editors as an unwise move. USDA is rebutting the opinion pieces, but their assertions need a dose of reality.
It’s bad enough having President Obama and his USDA pushing a new poultry inspection process that will injure workers. Now we have seven Democratic Senators who are also eager to screw the workers.
How much more evidence does Secretary Vilsack need before he scraps the USDA’s ill-conceived proposal to “modernize” the poultry slaughter inspection process?
USDA continues to insist that worker safety concerns are OSHA’s responsibility, even in the face of overwhelming evidence that its proposed rule to “modernize” poultry slaughter inspection with dizzying line speeds will injure workers.
Some USDA meat and poultry inspectors work many hours of overtime. USDA insists it doesn’t affect their critical food safety responsibilities.
The USDA Secretary tells Congress that his agency still plans to implement a new poultry slaughter inspection system that will allow producers to drastically increase line speeds, while a disturbing new report on poultry workers in Alabama explain the harmful effects of the current working conditions.
The Southern Poverty Law Center and Alabama Appleseed interviewed 300 Alabama poultry workers, and find that many have musculoskeletal problems linked to fast-moving processing lines. That problem could get even worse if a proposed USDA poultry rule to increase maximum line speeds takes effect.
The Obama Administration’s quest to appease businesses’ claims about burdensome regulations awoke a giant in the form of the civil rights, public health and workers’ safety communities. From the Southern Poverty Law Center and the National Council of LaRaza, to the American Public Health Association, the feedback on USDA’s proposal to “modernize” the poultry inspection process is loud and clear: scrap the idea because faster line speeds will take a grave toll on poultry plant workers. (Re-post)