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Some of the 17,000 poultry at Seldom Rest Farms located, north of Myerstown, PA, on Wednesday, April 20, 2011. The chickens are kept in a two story chicken house and produce approximately 2.5 million chicks each year.
Here we go again with the USDA wanting to make it easier for poultry companies to give us salmonella:
USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service wants to expand a pilot program in which inspectors examine 175 birds per minute, rather than the current rate of 35 birds per minute. A federal inspector remains part of the process in the pilot program, but only at the end of the poultry inspection line. Expansion of the program could result in the loss of up to 1,000 federal inspector jobs.

Allowing private poultry inspectors to check and discard carcasses earlier in the slaughter and production process could provide plants greater flexibility to develop their own procedures for condemning contaminated carcasses, the proposal said.

Yeah, right. It's just fine and dandy to weaken government inspection because the companies are going to police themselves. They'd never choose to sell a diseased or dangerous chicken for a little extra profit!

In reality, here's what the high-speed inspection would mean:

  • Under traditional inspection methods, inspectors can see all sides (and the inside) of the bird. But inspectors at HIMP plants can only see the backside of the bird - not the front (where the breast meat is) that may clearly show tumors or scabs. Nor can HIMP inspectors see the inside of the bird, where fecal matter and other disease causing abnormalities are found.
  • Under HIMP plans, federal inspectors are replaced with plant workers who are powerless to speak out against their employers, and are responsible for removing adulterated product. The inspector whistleblowers have witnessed that these sorters are "rebuked by supervisors" when they try to slow down the line for food safety concerns.
In addition to federal inspectors losing their jobs and consumers being sold birds with tumors, scabs, or fecal matter, the higher-speed lines would mean increased rates of repetitive motion injuries for poultry processing workers. It's a lose lose lose.

A fair day's wage

  • Lockouts are the labor story of the decade. In happier news, a nearly three-year lockout at a country club has ended, though the workers still don't have a contract.
  • American Airlines pilots are still pissed off and making life difficult for the airline, with good reason. They've been working for years without a contract or a raise while top executives got bonuses, and now that the airline is in bankruptcy, the pilots are once again taking the hit.
  • No deal: 22,000 unionized AT&T workers voted against ratifying a new contract, so negotiations will have to resume.
  • Saying they've won some safety improvements, striking Walmart warehouse workers are back at work.
  • The National Hockey League may be headed toward having no 2012-2013 season at all, thanks to its owners having locked out their players. The entire preseason has been canceled, and bargaining has been intermittent. Some players say they see it going on for a year or even more.

    Sarah Jaffe explains that the NHL as a whole is profitable, and owners who aren't making enough money have other owners to blame—they're just finding the players an easier target:

    Mirtle notes that the bottom 10 teams in the league (in such notorious hockey cities as Phoenix) aren't making enough money to cover expenses, while the rich teams have little interest in sharing revenue the way, say, the NFL or Major League Baseball do.

    “It’s an owner versus owner problem more than it is an owner versus player one,” Mirtle writes, but as a player agent tells him, “Owners would rather try to pound on players than pound on each other.”

    For some owners greed is a simple answer, or an unwillingness to pick on people their own size leading them to go after their employees. But for some, the lockout fits in a hardline ideology:
    Take Philadelphia Flyers owner Ed Snider. He's the chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, which is partially owned by Comcast—yes, the media conglomerate that pays the NHL's TV contract. Snider was one of the founders of the Ayn Rand Institute in 1985; after a split within the “movement,” he became a supporter of the Atlas Society, the same place where Paul Ryan gave his speech calling for the  end of Medicare. He was the executive producer of the  Atlas Shrugged film and has publicly stated that “Capitalists build up business so that they can give weaker members of society jobs.”
    Note that "weaker members of society" here means less-wealthy ones; I'm pretty sure professional hockey players are physically stronger than this guy.
  • Workers at a factory owned by China's notorious Foxconn rioted, with as many as 2,000 people involved and dozens injured. The factory is believed to be producing the iPhone 5, and there are reports that longer work hours and deadline pressures for that produce increased the tensions leading to the riot. Workers say guards beat them prior to the trouble.
  • Mario Batali's Del Posto restaurant has settled for $1.15 million with 31 workers who alleged tip misappropriation and wage theft, racial discrimination, and more. Del Posto has now worked with the Restaurant Opportunities Center to become a high-road employer.
  • Child labor in agriculture. It's common and it's ugly, and tobacco is an especially bad case.
  • With the American Crystal Sugar lockout going on 13 months now, workers' kids are appealing to management to let their parents back on the job.

State and local legislation

The War on Education

  • Oh, hey, did you know that charter schools increase segregation? Among other ways corporate education policies make inequality worse.
  • By contrast, here's what American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten and Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis have to say about what Chicago teachers fought for in their recent strike:
    First, use time wisely. The proposed contract lengthens the school day and year. A key demand by educators during the strike was that the district focus not just on instituting a longer school day, but on making it a better school day. Additional seat time doesn't constitute a good education. A well-rounded and rich curriculum, regular opportunities for teachers to plan and confer with colleagues, and time to engage students through discussions, group work and project-based learning—all these contribute to a high-quality education, and these should be priorities going forward.

    Second, get evaluation right and don't fixate on testing. Effective school systems use data to inform instruction, not as a "scarlet number" that does nothing to improve teaching and learning. One placard seen on Chicago's picket lines captured the sentiment of countless educators: "I want to teach to the student, not to the test." If implemented correctly, evaluations can help Chicago promote the continuous development of teachers' skills and of students' intellectual abilities (and not just their test-taking skills).

  • This would be disappointing coming from anywhere. Coming from the Chronicle of Higher Education it's just sad. The Chronicle is holding a panel on student loan default. That's good, right?
    But the invitation asks us to "Join the Career Education Corporation and the Education Finance Council to explore" this topic, and those two enterprises are listed as the sole sponsors of the event, with the Chronicle of Higher Education as its "host."

    Career Education Corporation (CEC or CECO) is the nation's fourth largest for-profit college, and one whose record hardly qualifies it to impart wisdom on issues of student debt. Yet, as I discovered, CEC not only is sponsoring this Chronicle event -- it selected all the panelists.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 10:55 AM PDT.

Also republished by ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I favor a Friedmanite take on food safety: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justiceputnam, HoundDog, scarvegas

    The private market will take care of it. We shouldn't have any government regulations and bureaucrats involved in food safety.

    So sick of government meddling in the private economy.

    •  Let's test this on members of congress. Only the (15+ / 0-)

      facilities that feed our Congress should try this and if they don't get sick then I guess it is fine.

    •  Maybe w/ astronomical consumer class action suits (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      divineorder, jakewaters, melo

      ...for allowing sufficient risk to sicken a single consumer therefore demonstrating failure to meet safety standards which should be six sigma if not greater. The only way to have a private market responsible is to create a new competing private market - a vibrant private testing industry paid by automatic fines from food industry quality and safety violations. Make competition to actually find poor quality pay off and cost the industry far more than the cost of high quality. The food would probably be a lot more expensive...

      Let all Bush tax cuts expire and , bring on the Sequestration cuts to defense.

      by kck on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:39:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Better yet, let's put them out of business. (7+ / 0-)

        The investment required to raise and maintain your own chicken and egg population in your back yard is higher than the grocery store cost.  

        Add in the benefit of chicken manure, whether it be for your veggies or flower, landscape or flower pots, and the cost becomes more reasonable.

        Let it be a learning experience for your family, and let the children decide whether chickens be slaughtered or not and just when that old hen can end peacefully wind up  in the stewpot, rather than die an agonized end.

        Use it, to advocate for local food production and consumption.  Use it to introduce your children into the world of nature that now seems available only through TV.

        Two hens can be happy, contented companions.  They will give you all the eggs you need.  You will delight in them, should you do it.  Being with the hens will be the highlight of your week, whether  you are urban, rural or remote.  They are smarter and far more noticeably  distinct from one another than you ever imagined.

        If your municipal code prevents this, work to change it..  A couple chickens on a condo balcony never hurt anyone...

        Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth - Abraham Lincoln

        by Gustogirl on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:57:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have 16 hens and a rooster. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tb mare, melo, TKO333, Eric Hopp, Gustogirl

          The best eggs imaginable. Super fertilizer for the veggie garden. No slaughters yet and I doubt that will happen since a local organic poultry farm s available.

          Of course not all can be so abundant so IMO it's reasonable to demand and pay for a safe, clean, humane US supply of poultry. What the standards should be is not rocket science and it is what it is and that's what the USDA should be accountable for. Cutting corners with health and epidemics at risk is vile and incompetent.  What the US really needs is an independent scientific best practices modern reassessment of the health and safety of the existing poultry industry and retooling to fix the known problems. Lowering the bar is simply ridiculous.  

          Let all Bush tax cuts expire and , bring on the Sequestration cuts to defense.

          by kck on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:36:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I've got my chickens (8+ / 0-)

          And they are happy, liberal cluckers.  They love running around the backyard eating snails, slugs, bugs, ants, dandelions, grass, and whatever tasty morsels they can find.  And they lay delicious eggs!

          Their names are (from left to right) Rosie, Razz, Dandelion, and Red.  

          •  And damn, they are gorgeous! n/t (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eric Hopp, licorice114, Gustogirl
            •  They no longer roost on my shoulder (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nespolo, Mary Mike, TKO333, Gustogirl

              As we purchased a bigger coup.  But my sister and I still sit out in the evening and talk to them when they are roosting on top of the new chicken coop, before bedtime.  Every morning at 7am, I get up to let the chickens out of the coop--and they are anxious to start the day.  If we are out working in the garden, they are right at our feet, exploring what we are doing.  They all four have their interesting personalities.  Rosie lays a turquoise green egg, while the rest lay brown eggs.  Rosie is an Americauna chicken, Razz is a black sex-linked chicken, Dandelion is a bard rock, and Red is a red sex-linked chicken.

              The neighbors call me the Chicken Whisperer, as I will go out and talk to the chickens.  Chickens are certainly fun pets, with "benefits."  Their eggs have a richer taste than you'll ever see in a grocery store eggs.  They lay at least one egg per day (unless one takes a day off).  You'll need a backyard for them to run around to scratch at dirt and grass.  Your biggest cost is probably the coop, which can run anywhere from $500, to $1,000--unless you build your own.  There are plenty of books giving you instructions on raising chickens, such as Raising Chickens for Dummies.  They are a hoot to watch.

          •  Oh good! I'm glad somebody went there first. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Eric Hopp, Gustogirl

            Beautiful girls, I will say! Faverolle, barred rock, NH -- what's the brown and gold?

            Folks, chickens are incredibly easy to keep. At least for eggs. It gets a little more messy if you want to process them for meat, of course. They're cheap to feed, they're delightful, and (note for Romney) they eat ticks!

            It' well worth checking your local regs to see if you can have chickens where you live (lots of places allow hens but not roosters). One of the best things I ever did!

            Check out Backyard Chickens for articles on basic chicken raising -- and an active forum as passionate about their gallus domesticus as this one is about politics :-)

            •  Looks like blue egg laying Americauna. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Eric Hopp, Gustogirl

              Let all Bush tax cuts expire and , bring on the Sequestration cuts to defense.

              by kck on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 05:53:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Rosie is an Ameraucana chicken (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                kck, Gustogirl

                And she lays sort of a turquoise-blue egg.  Her eggs are slightly smaller than what you would find in the grocery store, but they taste intense.  The other three lay brown eggs.  Red is the smallest chicken, but she lays the biggest egg--sometimes even larger than what you would find in the store.  

                Our eggs have an intensive flavor.  The yolks are a bright orange, and not the pale yellow that you see in grocery store eggs.  They cook up just as nice.  The chickens lay their eggs from between 9am to 1pm, sometimes with Red going in at 8am.  We collect eggs in the afternoon, and just wash them gently under lukewarm water to clean them, and place them in the refrigerator.  Use them as we can.  Or we'll give them to the rest of the family--my parents just love the eggs.

            •  The brown and gold chick is an Ameraucana, (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gustogirl

              And her name is Rosie, after Ring-Around-the-Food-Dish-Rosie.  We got Rosie and Razz (black-feathered Black sex-link) at around the middle of October, last year.  They just got their feathers in.  When they were eating out of the food dish, Rosie would stop, run a circle around the food dish, and go back to eating in the same place at the dish.  

              We named Razz for Razzamataz The Spazmatic Chick.  When we first brought them home, Razz would jump at every noise she heard.  Rosie would not stir at all the noises.

              We brought Red and Dandelion home on Black Friday, last year.  Red is the red sex-linked chicken, named because she has red feathers.  Dandelion was named because she would chomp down an entire dandelion leaf in a single gulp.  Talk about a superhero chicken.   Now all the chickens have eaten all the dandelions in our back yard.

              They all have their personalities.  Rosie is the socialite chicken.  Razz is the top chicken on the pecking order, our Big Girl Chicken.  Red is the sneaky chicken.  If Kris is getting food for them, Red will come up behind Kris and chirp in a growling manner, asking for her small, special dish of food.  Red is the lowest in the pecking order.  Rosie and Dandelion sort of switch around in between on the order.  Rosie was the first to jump on Kris' back, and my shoulder.  Then all the chickens wanted on my shoulder for roosting--especially last winter.  They are all very curious at whatever I'm doing in the back yard--especially if I have a shovel and need to dig a hole.  Then they all want to help me with digging the hole.  In the afternoon, I'll sometimes sit out on the back grass, and all four chickens will be under my chair, pecking at the grass.

              I do know about Backyard Chickens--a great resource.   They are very easy to take care of, and totally fun to watch.  We feed them chicken scratch, and chicken crumble for food, and give them treats of apples, and watermelon--they go crazy over watermelon.  We've got some pumpkin growing in the back yard, and should be ready in the next couple of weeks.  We'll see how they sample the pumpkin.

          •  Here is a better pic of the ladies (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gustogirl

            They are very easy to keep.  Four chickens will give us over two dozen eggs per week (especially in the summer).  You'll need a chicken coop, some space for them to run around, some dirt for them to scratch, fresh food and water.  A little dirt pile is also great for them to take dust baths, and keep clean.  We give them chicken crumble feed, and scratch.  Sometimes we'll mix the feed with hot water to create a mash, which the chickens love.  I let them out at sunrise, and they spend the day free-ranging, and put them to bed at sun set.  

            There are plenty of websites which can give you great advice on raising chickens.  And your Barnes and Noble, or Amazon bookstore will have plenty of books on raising chickens for pets.  

      •  Space chickens? Private regulators? (6+ / 0-)

        Hopefully salmonella cases never quite reach the astronomical level.  

        Having gone through it once I swear the propulsive force of GI contents moving either north or south could have sent me into orbit.  

        Fortunately, actually unfortunately at the time, they cancelled each other out and I remained earthbound and  dismal for more than a week.

        The $ I paid for whatever sent me into that state went to part of someone's bottom line and no, I don't trust the people who let me get sick once to make sure it doesn't happen again.

        From my bottom line's perspective I'd as soon had a little more Gov't regulation at either the local, county health board inspection, or at the federal level, i.e. tighter regulation by the USDA and/or the FDA.

        Once a person has experienced food poisoning as something other than an academic, theoretical debate topic I don't think they will sing the praises of private enterprise quite so loudly.

        "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

        by jakewaters on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:11:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Big fines aren't enough. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        melo, kck

        Remember the BP oil spill?  That spill had the potential to cause damage more costly than the entire market cap of the company.

      •  Supreme Court won't allow class action suits. (0+ / 0-)

        Every lawsuit is due to a different set of circumstances: the illness was caused by a different chicken. Therefore, the class should not be certified.

        Well.... that is the kind of chickenshit I'd expect from the Robert's Court.

        Pull yourself up by your Mittstraps: borrow a few million dollars from your parents!

        by xynz on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 03:19:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Of Course we can count on Big Business (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jakewaters, scarvegas

      Of Course we can count on Big Business to look out for the consumer.  It's not like they've ever poisoned us before, have they?  Pink slime, Agent Orange, thalidomide, eggs with salmonella, spinich with e. coli, etc.  Nope, we sure can trust businesses to watch out for OUR best interests.  Or, do they mainly care about profits?

    •  It is only 2 cents a bird! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BlueEyed In NC, TKO333

      Imagine the workers make $100k/year including benefits and overhead.

      $100k / 50 weeks / 5 days / 8 hours / 50 minutes = $1 per minute.

      (50 minute hours assumes a rest break)

      $1 / 35 birds = $0.028 per bird

      $1 / 175 birds =$0.006

      Savings is TWO CENTS.

      I say, let them do it, but they must label the chicken:


      "This chicken has been only partially inspected for disease"
      Or you can pay two cents extra and get a good chicken...
  •  I hate it when our government is owned (16+ / 0-)

    by big business. Those CAFO chickens live a life of suffering anyway. Perhaps it is only karma that they are making us sick and sicker (thanks to big ag and their very own puppet government)

    "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

    by Crider on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:05:24 AM PDT

    •  Monsanto and Dupont folks now hold (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      the fan man, justsayjoe, TKO333

      many key positions in the FDA.  Obama always said, "make me do it" about the more "progressive" ideas (is it "progressive" to not want to poison our children?).  After he wins this time, we need to do as he asked.  Make him get these shills out of those roles.  

      •  I have a long list of "make me do it" items. By (0+ / 0-)

        the way, that was Clinton's line and it was bullshit. Money speaks louder than citizen advocates. I have higher hopes for O.

        Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

        by the fan man on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 02:11:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  That's why I get the Spicy Chicken...covers up (6+ / 0-)

    that feces and tumors flava!

  •  a huge problem with the speed of the (6+ / 0-)

    inspection line is that if a FSIS worker gets behind  it is the workers fault and not the fault that the line was too fast to begin with.

    To think that these low paid workers would feel that they could stand up to their employers to report a problem is lunacy. They would rarely stop the line if there was a problem nor trash the product. It isnt their fault, but the companies have all the power.

    that inspection line keeps moving and youd better have a damn good reason for stopping it

    "With malice toward none, with charity for all..." -Abraham Lincoln not a modern republican

    by live1 on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:08:53 AM PDT

  •  FDA proposed rule (9+ / 0-)

    Proposed rules can be commented on by the public up until the closing date.  I would urge anyone  that cares about food safety to voice your objections.  Note that regulations.gov is down for the day, but you should be able to comment after 9:00pm EDT.

    http://www.regulations.gov/...

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:09:46 AM PDT

  •  When I was a constant participant... (10+ / 0-)

    ... in the Cooking Wars, I would always remind my sous chef to "cook the shit out of the beef and fowl."

    Because at that time, my purveyors only bought from the large producers who had little oversight.

    I only cook local and sustainable; and buy directly from small producers now.

    A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / The Justice Department is on Netroots Radio.

    by justiceputnam on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:09:53 AM PDT

    •  I think (4+ / 0-)

      that, instead of increasing profits, the deregulation of mega-farms will actually create market movement to local producers or even to self-produced food. The locavore movement is small but growing; the first time 60 Minutes does an expose of BigName Chicken and the feces-filled chicken you're buying at MegaStore, we'll see more and more people either raising their own or going to farmers' markets.

      Bruce in Louisville
      Visit me at brucemaples.com, brucewriter.com, or ThreePols.com
      Follow me on Twitter @brucewriter or @ThreePols

      by bmaples on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:08:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It's a sad... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare

        ... and dangerous dynamic; but true in a cynical way.

        Is the reason I belong to a CSA and buy from reputable butchers or directly from the "rancher."

        Easier to do in my neck of the "woods" though; living and working in the SF Bay Area.

        A Poet is at the same time a force for Solidarity and for Solitude -- Pablo Neruda / The Justice Department is on Netroots Radio.

        by justiceputnam on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:22:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  here's a way I could see it; (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    radical simplicity, scarvegas, melo

    let them police themselves. Sure, no problemo. But ONE case of food poisoning traced back to a specific farm means a permanent shutdown of that facility, and all profit taken goes toward the recall effort and alleviating the suffering of the victims, the retailers, etc. And all the current govt food inspectors are reassigned to investigate any cases of tainted chicken, with a bounty payout to keep them diligent. Make those henhouses safe for the owner to eat right off the floor.
    Somehow, I'll bet the agribusinesses suddenly decide to keep things as they are.
    We could live in that libertarian paradise we all keep hearing about, but only if the disincentive for bad behavior is a thousand times stronger than the incentive. That's the part our free market fundamentalist friends refuse to acknowledge; that a lack of cops equals an increase in crime.

    R-Money/R-Ayn, the ENRON Ticket, is not a campaign; it's a hostile takeover bid.

    by kamarvt on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:10:01 AM PDT

  •  Glad to be a vegan (11+ / 0-)

    I wish I'd become vegetarian, and then vegan, years earlier than I did.

    Stop eating chickens and you won't have to worry about salmonella from poorly inspected chicken meat.

    And you won't have to think about the horrendously cruel conditions that the chicken experienced before it was killed.

    •  yeah, for most people that isn't happening (4+ / 0-)

      so why don't we just inspect the food we got?  And its not like loosening food safety won't be coming (if isn't already there) to a salad bar near you.  

    •  I bet dollars to road apples that this move (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1, scarvegas, tb mare, melo, Theden

      is all about the mega-drought: large animal production, which requires huge amounts more water than poultry per pound of product, is going by the boards thanks to global warming.  That means folks will be turning to chicken for their animal protein, which in turn means higher production rates are necessary to keep up with anticipated demand.  Salmonella is not a big deal as long as industry profits can be sustained and enhanced, I guess.

      Vilsack is vile.  Not only does this endanger the public, it puts even more government workers out of a necessary job just when we're trying desperately to dig out of the doldrums.  

      Invest in nuts and legumes and leafy greens, folks.

      "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

      by nailbender on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:42:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Vilsack is being forced to make cuts (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Crider, melo

        in the USDA budget. And that's before the GOP House takes their axe to the agency in the lame duck session renewal of the farm bill. It's another case of sacrificing public employees and the public interest on the alter of deficit reduction.

        •  I know how Vilsack can cut staff at the USDA (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scarvegas, tb mare, melo, nailbender

          Lay off anyone with Monsanto, ADM, ConAgra, or various ag lobbying firms on their resume. Of course, I think that would mean Vilsack would have to resign, too.

          "Societies strain harder and harder to sustain the decadent opulence of the ruling class, even as it destroys the foundations of productivity and wealth." — Chris Hedges

          by Crider on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:06:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Good point about the drought and water shortage (0+ / 0-)

        If people eat less beef, that's a good thing -- for the environment and for health.

    •  There is a new startup that (0+ / 0-)

      will make buying a veg version of chicken much more delectable and affordable.

      Check out Beyond Meat.

      It takes time to practice generosity, but being generous is the best use of our time. - Thich Nhat Hanh.

      by Frank In WA on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 03:33:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder how this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melo

    could affect the spread of avian viruses. I read up a bit on government oversight of vaccinations during the last outbreak, and seem to recall that the poultry industry is pretty much left to its own devices. It seems to me that fewer inspectors could increase the chances that an outbreak would not be spotted in a timely manner. Or maybe there's a whole other inspection mechanism for that.

    "I had seen the universe as it begins for all things. It was, in reality, a child's universe, a tiny and laughing universe." Loren Eiseley

    by cadejo4 on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:15:35 AM PDT

  •  "Hell in a hand basket." even more eggsamples (0+ / 0-)

    Brand new favorite RSS feed of Daily Kos Radio Podcasts http://kagrox.libsyn.com/rss
    Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

    by We Won on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:17:01 AM PDT

  •  As a Reform Jew I can report (0+ / 0-)

    The Reform Responsa that is the official interpretation of Torah and Jewish law by the Union of American Hebrew Congregations( The largest Jewish Organization in North America) and the Central Conference of American Rabbi's (the accrediting organization of Reform Rabbi's), Judaism shall be recognized from both Matriarchal and Patriarchal decent. Meaning that even the relationship coming George's mothers Father's side still provides for Jewish recognition.

    Sorry George and a heart felt, Good Yuntif!

  •  How brilliant for Obama to "eviscerate" food (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999

    safety programs while at the same time firing more government workers just as his total job creation numbers break even!  

    What's up?  Is he in a race with Romney for the worst campaign optics coupled with harmful public policy?  Four more years of this (literal) shit, we don't need.

    "Well, yeah, the Constitution is worth it if you succeed." - Nancy Pelosi // Question: "succeed" at what?

    by nailbender on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:31:49 AM PDT

  •  Mad Cows and Englishmen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    divineorder

    Out in the Noon Day Sun

    Apologies to Noël Coward

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:39:59 AM PDT

  •  Upton Sinclair wept. (6+ / 0-)

    He only employs his passion who can make no use of his reason. - Cicero

    by SpamNunn on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:44:22 AM PDT

  •  I try to be open minded, but I have to admit (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dcatalin, melo, the fan man

    to not being enthusiastic about having more feces and tumors in our chicken.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:46:23 AM PDT

  •  The Jungle returns. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BlueEyed In NC

    Where's Upton Sinclair when you need him?

  •  From Fight Club (1999): (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jakewaters, melo, weinerschnauzer

    Narrator: "A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now: should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one."

    Business woman on plane: "Are there a lot of
    these kinds of accidents?"

    Narrator: "You wouldn't believe."

    Business woman on plane: "Which car company do
    you work for?"

    Narrator: "A major one."

    "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

    by CFAmick on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:51:27 AM PDT

    •  This is Mittens' great weakness: Story problems (0+ / 0-)

      he sees no problem recalling medicare, medicaid, social security, veterans benefits and promising to replace them with something better.

      The math works for him, screw anyone's personal story.

      That wasn't a rule of fight club though, was it?

      "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

      by jakewaters on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:41:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Even a nation's health is sacrificed for the (0+ / 0-)

    almighty dollar.  Food inspectors can't play when it has to do with the quality of meat being served.

    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." --Benjamin Franklin

    by politicalceci on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 11:57:07 AM PDT

  •  Sounds yummy. I can't remember chicken w/o (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    scarvegas

    a side of feces peppered with tumors.

    I had some friends visit this summer and they commented on how different the chicken tasted.  I explained to them how corporations have genetically modified our food supply and have "created" their own chickens to make chicken nuggets easier to produce etc.  They thought I was joking and when they realized I wasn't kidding they stopped eating meat and poultry until they were safely back in their village.

  •  Chick Fil A (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    freedom fried

    Maybe this is okay if it's just for Chick Fil A chickens.  Those are the people who seem to care the most about gutting regulations, after all.

    Just because you're self-righteous doesn't mean you're not a hypocrite.

    by AMcG826 on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:14:39 PM PDT

  •  There are canaries in our coal mines: bad pet food (6+ / 0-)

    from China is a real problem.

    Our 4 year old Bassett hound Leo is in a vetrinary hospital as I type this, his liver inflamed, his kidney function impaired and his spleen removed yesterday.

    Test results are still out but one possible cause is the treats he had been eating.

    It is unclear whether the sickness and death of dogs from these Chinese chicken jerky tenders s from toxins, bacterial or viral chicken disease.  The FDA has inspected some manufacturing plants but apparantly the company (perhaps aided by regional authorities) has kept them  away from the chickens themselves.

    A consumer group as recently as the end of August appealed to the FDA to use regulations they already have to crack down on the Chinese chicken business, their petition is Here a newsletter describing the hisrory of the action Here the FDA's take on things Here a bit on the MSNBC website on the problem from March 2012 Here and the company's response Here.

    I have reported the possibly related AE to the FDA and will be following up with Costoc (where we bought th treats) and Waggin Train (the company that markets them in the US) next week.

    In the mean time I find myself humming the prayer of St Francis a lot.  
    Couldn't hurt, right?

    "I'll press your flesh, you dimwitted sumbitch! " -Pappy O'Daniel

    by jakewaters on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:37:30 PM PDT

    •  i so hope your dog is going to be fine (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      melo, jakewaters, Involuntary Exile

      dogs are part of the family. i have three (one is half bassett) and dont know what i would do without them.

      i love my dogs and have been following this story too.
      it is a sad and scary story

      "With malice toward none, with charity for all..." -Abraham Lincoln not a modern republican

      by live1 on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 02:28:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How soon before.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melo

    The corporations somewhere call out their goon squads to beat up/kill workers on strike? You know a Romney/Ryan administration would have no problem with using troops to settle labor disputes.

    The challenge will be how they get away with it in the age of Youtube and social media.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 12:51:46 PM PDT

  •  this sucks.... (0+ / 0-)

    how do I blame it on Romney?

  •  Ah the smell of chicken shit in the morning...... (0+ / 0-)

    What is a few sick or dead consumers?
    Money! Money! Money!

    Psst!!!......Willard let us see your income taxes.

    by wbishop3 on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 01:51:37 PM PDT

  •  Buy local from your farmers markets and get (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    the fan man

    to know your food producer and just where your food comes from.

    Besides, it keeps the money in the local economy.

    “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.” — Marcus Aurelius

    by LamontCranston on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 02:02:38 PM PDT

  •  Remember who sits at the head of this table. Obama (0+ / 0-)

    once re-elected, is going to get a sternly worded letter from me.

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 02:15:58 PM PDT

  •  Isn't the USDA part of the Executive Branch? (0+ / 0-)

    Isn't this a Change that the Obama Administration is seeking, all by itself*?

    *That is, 40 Republican Senators haven't forced this change, by holding their breath.

    Pull yourself up by your Mittstraps: borrow a few million dollars from your parents!

    by xynz on Sat Sep 29, 2012 at 03:21:36 PM PDT

  •  It's a win lose lose lose. (0+ / 0-)

    The corporate profits will go up after all.

  •  Time to start growing my own (0+ / 0-)

    chickens I guess. They'll fit right in with the outdoor garden and the small aquaponic system growing trout and vegetables in the basement.

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