Welcome!

News Feed Item

AFGE, Food Safety Groups Urge Congress to Reject Poultry Inspection Outsourcing Plan

USDA cost-cutting plan would turn over inspections to poultry processors, increase risk of foodborne illnesses

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Federation of Government Employees has joined with food and worker safety groups in calling on Congress to reject a budget proposal from USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to implement a new poultry inspection system during FY 2014. AFGE and the other groups also are urging Congress to restore the $11.73 million budget cut that would eliminate FSIS inspector positions.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131120/MM21150LOGO)

AFGE and other members of the Safe Food Coalition and Worker Health and Safety Coalition sent a letter to the heads of the agriculture appropriations subcommittees in the House and Senate on Jan. 6, urging them to remove report language endorsing the poultry inspection overhaul and restore the funding for FSIS inspectors.

"USDA's poultry inspection system does need to be modernized, but this proposal raises serious food safety and worker safety concerns," the letter states. The letter was sent to Sens. Mark Pryor of Arkansas and Roy Blunt of Missouri and Reps. Robert Aderholt of Alabama and Sam Farr of California.

The USDA proposal, which was proposed nearly two years ago, would remove most federal inspectors from the slaughter line and turn over inspection activities currently performed by federal inspectors to untrained plant employees. The proposal also would allow plants to increase their line speeds up to 175 chicken carcasses per minute, meaning that the lone remaining federal inspector on the slaughter line will have one-third of one second to examine each chicken carcass for disease, infection and contamination.

"With three birds whizzing by every second, how could any worker possibly be expected to conduct a thorough examination of these carcasses? The obvious answer is, they can't. And that means the American public is going to be at higher risk for foodborne illnesses and outbreaks if this proposal becomes law," AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr. said.

The Government Accountability Office has identified major deficiencies in the data USDA are using to claim that its proposal would ensure equivalent, if not better, levels of food safety and quality. The proposal does not require plants to test for Salmonella or Campylobacter, the two pathogens most frequently associated with raw poultry.

In addition, ramping up line speeds to such an extreme level will have a serious detrimental impact on the industry's workers, advocates contend. Multiple reports have found alarming rates of job-related injuries and illnesses by poultry workers, even at the current line speeds.

In addition to AFGE, other organizations signing the letter are the Center for Effective Government, Center for Food Safety, Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention, Center for Science in the Public Interest, Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union, Food and Water Watch, Government Accountability Project, Humane Society of the United Sates, National Consumers League, National Council of La Raza, National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, Nebraska Appleseed Center for Law in the Public Interest, Southern Poverty Law Center, STOP Foodborne Illness, United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and Worksafe Inc.

Also signing the letter are James Albers, a certified industrial hygienist in Cincinnati; Craig Slatin, a professor of health education and policy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell; and Rena Steinzor, an environmental professor at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law.

The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 670,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.

For the latest AFGE news and information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single-threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Dave Martin, Product owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
Cloud adoption is often driven by a desire to increase efficiency, boost agility and save money. All too often, however, the reality involves unpredictable cost spikes and lack of oversight due to resource limitations. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Joe Kinsella, CTO and Founder of CloudHealth Technologies, tackled the question: “How do you build a fully optimized cloud?” He will examine: Why TCO is critical to achieving cloud success – and why attendees should be thinking holistically ab...
As more and more companies are making the shift from on-premises to public cloud, the standard approach to DevOps is evolving. From encryption, compliance and regulations like GDPR, security in the cloud has become a hot topic. Many DevOps-focused companies have hired dedicated staff to fulfill these requirements, often creating further siloes, complexity and cost. This session aims to highlight existing DevOps cultural approaches, tooling and how security can be wrapped in every facet of the bu...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
yperConvergence came to market with the objective of being simple, flexible and to help drive down operating expenses. It reduced the footprint by bundling the compute/storage/network into one box. This brought a new set of challenges as the HyperConverged vendors are very focused on their own proprietary building blocks. If you want to scale in a certain way, let’s say you identified a need for more storage and want to add a device that is not sold by the HyperConverged vendor, forget about it....
SYS-CON Events announced today that Calligo has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Calligo is an innovative cloud service provider offering mid-sized companies the highest levels of data privacy. Calligo offers unparalleled application performance guarantees, commercial flexibility and a personalized support service from its globally located cloud platform...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Launched in 2016, Cloudistics helps anyone bring the power of the cloud to the data center in an easy-to-use, on- premises cloud platform that automatically provides high performance resources for all types of applications: Docke...
With Cloud Foundry you can easily deploy and use apps utilizing websocket technology, but not everybody realizes that scaling them out is not that trivial. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Roman Swoszowski, CTO and VP, Cloud Foundry Services, at Grape Up, will show you an example of how to deal with this issue. He will demonstrate a cloud-native Spring Boot app running in Cloud Foundry and communicating with clients over websocket protocol that can be easily scaled horizontally and coordinate...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...