Update #1 ·

Birds of a Feather?

The U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) wants to privatize poultry inspection, a move that would put companies in charge of their own inspections. The USDA also wants to increase the speed at which workers can slaughter chickens.

It’s a plan that would put consumers and workers at greater risk than they already are, from food-borne illnesses (weaker inspections), and on-the-job accidents (higher speeds).

Almost 23,000 of you have signed our petition so far to the USDA asking the agency to rescind its “filthy chicken” rule. It seems you’re not the only ones who think the USDA’s plan is foul. Turns out, 68 House members also want the poultry inspection rule thrown out. According to PoliticoPro, the bipartisan group sent a four-page letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack asking him to withdraw the proposed rule:

“While we strongly support modernizing our food safety system and making it more efficient, modernization should not occur at the expense of public health, worker safety, or animal welfare,” says the letter, which is signed by Reps. Rosa DeLauro, Jim Moran, Louise Slaughter, Bennie Thompson and others. “We therefore harbor serious concerns over what we believe are the Food Safety Inspection Service’s inadequate considerations to date of these issues in promulgating this rule…We urge FSIS to withdraw the proposed rule until the agency has thoroughly addressed its impact on the public, workers, and animals and adherence to good commercial practices.”

Poultry is already the most deadly source of food borne illness. And working in a slaughterhouse is already the most dangerous job in America, according to some reports. And now the USDA wants to make things worse?

It’s not often we flock together with 68 members of Congress, so let’s show them we support their efforts by keeping the pressure on.

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