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Organic Consumers Association

New USDA Rule Allows Hidden Feces, Pus, Bacteria and Bleach in Conventional Poultry

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Food Safety Research Center page.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently in the process of trying to ram through passage of a new "modernization" rule for conventional poultry production that would eliminate a large percentage of USDA inspectors and speed up the factory production process. And existing safeguards, as minimally effective as they currently are, would also be eroded, allowing for more hidden feces, pus, bacteria and chemical contaminants to persist in conventional chicken and turkey meat.

Even though salmonella rates as detected in meat and poultry have been steadily dropping year after year in the U.S., roughly the same numbers of people seem to be getting infected with the pathogen annually. The primary reason for this statistical anomaly appears to be that the current testing methods authorized by the USDA for meat and poultry are wholly inadequate and outdated and actually cover up the presence of contaminants borne on factory farms and in processing plants.

But a whole new set of guidelines being proposed by the USDA will make things even worse by allowing companies to self-inspect themselves, as well as use an even more aggressive barrage of chemicals to treat their tainted meat before selling it to consumers. This is good news for the factory poultry industry, of course, which is expected to cut its costs by about $250 million a year, thanks to its buddies at the USDA, but it's bad news for consumers who will be subjected to all the toxic consequences.

If you have ever seen any of the shocking, undercover footage showing how chickens, turkeys and other animals are treated at factory farms, then you already know the type of filth and abuse to which these poor animals are routinely subjected. Because of their horrific living conditions, factory farm animals are often teeming with harmful pathogens, which is why their meat has to undergo chemical treatments in the first place before being packaged and served on dinner tables -- it is a truly disgusting process, to say the least.

According to documented reports, after the animals are slaughtered, conventional poultry is essentially hung on long conveyor lines and sprayed, bathed and injected with all sorts of chemical solutions, including chlorine bleach, before ultimately being hauled off to the supermarket. These chemical solutions are, of course, carefully designed to kill any bacteria and render the meat "safe" for human consumption, the ultimate "don't ask, don't tell" policy for the factory food industry, if you will.


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