The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is an agency that operates under the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Its mission statement is: Protecting the public’s health by ensuring the safety of meat, poultry and processed egg products.
You would think that the person in charge of an agency whose mission is to protect your right to safe food would be someone with an independent scientific background.
You’d think. But Trump has just tapped a scientist with a long history of looking out for the interests of corporations—like meat and pharmaceutical industry giants Cargill, Merck and Perdue—for the position of under secretary of the FSIS.
There’s already reason to suspect that the FSIS isn’t protecting your meat. A recent report by Consumer Reports raised questions about drug residue contamination in meat and poultry after its analysis of residue testing conducted by the FSIS revealed alarming levels of multiple drugs, including some that are strictly prohibited in meat production. Instead of shutting down offending meat producers and warning consumers about what the agency’s testing found, FSIS officials accused Consumer Reports of getting it wrong. But Consumer Reports stands by its work, as outlined in this letter to the USDA.
The last thing we need are more industrial meat cheerleaders in charge of food safety.