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Carbon Monoxide on Your Plate? 5 Dangerous Substances Big Ag Pumps into Your Meat

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's Factory Farming Page, Health Issues Page and our Food Safety Research Center Page.

It is no secret that in the war against meat pathogens in commercial U.S. meat production, the pathogens are winning. The logical result of the tons of antibiotics Big Meat gives livestock (not because they are sick, but to fatten them up) is clear: antibiotics that no longer work against antibiotic-resistant diseases like staph (MRSA), enterococci (VRE) and C.difficile. Antibiotic-resistant infections, once limited to hospitals and nursing homes, can now be acquired in the community, Florida public beaches and on the highway behind a  poultry truck.

Big Meat has found some novel ways to retard the growth of salmonella, E.coli and listeria on commercially grown meat, but it does not necessarily want people to know about them and these substances are conspicuously absent from labels.

1. Chlorine Baths

If you want to know the most problematic ingredients in our food supply, just look at the items the European Union boycotts, starting with GMOs, hormone beef and chicken dipped in chlorine baths. U.S. Big Food lobbyists are pushing hard to circumvent the European bans, says MintPress News, especially "bleached chicken." They claim the "many unwarranted non-tariff trade barriers  severely limit or prohibit the export of certain U.S. agricultural products to the EU."

That's the idea. In fact, the EU has not accepted US poultry since 1997.

Why do U.S. poultry processors use chlorine? It  "kills bacteria, controls slime and algae, increases product shelf life [and] eliminates costly hand-cleaning labor and materials" in addition to disinfecting "wash down" and "chilling" water. "Pinners" in the slaughter facility who remove the birds' feathers by hand wash their hands with chlorinated water to "reduce odors and bacterial count" after which the birds are sprayed to "wash all foreign material from the carcass." Meat is similarly disinfected with chlorine, says one industrial paper, especially because conveyer belts are "ideal breeding grounds for bacteria."       


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