As if there are already not enough chemicals in our food, poultry processing plants are about to boost the amount of toxic chemicals used in processing poultry yet again, to levels that are causing illnesses, injuries and death to the workers. These chemicals will be passed on and consumed by consumers, as well.
Like other meats, chicken and turkey are processed by being hung on a “line” as they pass through inspection. These lines already move much faster than they did a few years ago. Very soon, they will be moving even faster.
Chemicals have been used to process tainted meat on the processing line for many years. However, in the past, poultry carcasses that were visibly contaminated were discarded or removed for cleaning so that the uncontaminated poultry was not exposed to high levels of chemicals.
Douse Them With Chemicals Instead of Washing Them Off With Water
New proposed regulations will allow ALL poultry carcases, even “visibly contaminated poultry carcasses to remain online for treatment” – instead of being removed for cleaning. In order to destroy pathogens, they will be dousing all the poultry with high levels of powerful chemicals.
The speed of processing lines has been increasing in the last few years. The Department of Agriculture is planning to allow further increases in line speeds, boosting the maximum by about 25 percent. Since processing lines move faster, all poultry carcasses stay on the lines while getting treated with powerful antimicrobial chemicals WHETHER THEY ARE CONTAMINATED OR NOT.
USDA inspectors admit this results in an increase in the number of chemical treatments used on the birds.
How lovely – they are going to have to douse those birds with super lethal stuff to kill all the contamination they used to wash off or throw out as inedible. And you and I will be eating it!
Chicken and turkey will be more of a chemical cocktail than a meal.
Why More Chemicals?
This reasoning justifying this practice is that it will reduce the number of government inspectors while increasing the number of private company inspectors.
Terrific, more foxes guarding the hen house!
Is it Safe?
Has anyone checked if this chemically processed poultry is safe to eat? Have government agencies conducted independent research into the possible side effects on consumers of using the chemicals?
Nope. They have simply reviewed data provided by chemical manufacturers. The government does not even keep a record of illnesses suspected of being caused by the chemicals used in the poultry industry.
“They are mixing chemicals together in these plants, and it’s making people sick,” says Amanda Hitt, director of the Food Integrity Campaign with the Government Accountability Project (as quoted in the Washington Post) “Does it work better at killing off pathogens? Yes, but it also can send someone into respiratory arrest.”
How Many Poultry Processors Have Sped Up Their Lines Already?
I wondered if the top conventional poultry processors selling poultry in my area were already using accelerated lines. So, last week, I called several plants inquiring if they use high-speed lines. In every case, I was re-routed to a message line (even after talking to a live person), and not one has returned my call.
Hmmm, that kind of answers the question, doesn’t it?
I’m assuming organic chickens are still processed without chemicals and are still safe to eat (at least I’m going by that assumption).
So unless you want to eat chemicals, it’s either buy organic or raise your own.