Protecting Food. Empowering Whistleblowers.

Food Integrity Campaign Blog

Poultry Industry: Join Europe in Saying No to Chemicals

Food Integrity Campaign | October 6, 2014

The U.S. poultry industry has been ignoring whistleblower concerns about dangerous chemical use at processing plants, but will it ignore international trading partners? An NPR story last week explained how Europe’s food standards, which instigated banning chlorine treatment on chicken in the 1990s, are impacting U.S. trade negotiations.

USDA poultry inspector Sherry Medina has been speaking out against the U.S. industry’s excessive reliance on chemicals (including peracetic acid, chlorine, and other unknown substances) to clean chicken carcasses. She was forced to retire early due to serious health issues she believed resulted from the chemical cocktail that workers breathe in every day at the Tyson Foods plant where she was stationed. Here’s a photo of Sherry giving an interview on German television. sherry_germanTV

Brian MacDonald is another USDA inspector who felt he had no choice but to leave his job due to failing health “related to chemical exposure.” In the affidavit he submitted to FIC, he explains how concerns were heightened when the facility had poor ventilation, an issue likewise raised by Medina. Three more anonymous whistleblowers raised similar concerns. View all of their affidavits here.

If workers inspecting your chicken can’t even breathe while on the job, something is seriously wrong. Europe has it right with strict regulation of chemical use. If American companies want to stay competitive abroad, they need to heed whistleblower concerns and keep processing plants from posing a hazard to both workers and consumers.


Sarah Damian is Communications Manager for the Food Integrity Campaign.


  1. Laura Stewart-Burch says:

    There is seriously something wrong when “the greatest country on earth” can’t transport their chicken to another country because they don’t want chemicals in their food. We need to wake up and realize that the American people don’t want it either.Report

  2. Nancy Helfrich says:

    We need safe, healthy food!Report

  3. Gisele Mathias says:

    Enough chemicals please !Report

  4. CAROL COONS says:


  5. steven goldman says:

    enough is enough. join the worldReport

  6. Lloyd Wallace says:

    There are already to many chemicals in all the food we eat and they are making us sick, no chemicals in chicken!Report

  7. Linda Chmelicek says:

    I’m saying noReport

  8. Renee DiCesare says:

    Chemicals should never be in foods of any kind.Report

  9. Tom Pitman says:

    Please stop chicken going through a chlorine bath before reaching consumers.Report

  10. Ray Bustos says:

    These American Corporations need to stop POISONING the american people, by using chemicals in our poultry! It is bad enough that we are ingesting chemicals in the air, water, & other foods.Report

  11. Philip Johnston says:

    If workers inspecting your chicken can’t even breathe while on the job, something is seriously wrong. Europe has it right with strict regulation of chemical use. If American companies want to stay competitive abroad, they need to heed whistleblower concerns and keep processing plants from posing a hazard to both workers and consumers.Report

  12. Jan McCreary says:

    Ban the use of hazardous chemicals in processing chicken in the U.S.Report

  13. Mark Meeks says:

    Food integrity is of critical importance; we must have food that is good for us and not harmful to the environment. We must have confidence in the food we eat in order really to be free and full citizens of democracies.Report

  14. Marilyn Lee says:

    I just want good food, not full of unnecessary chemicals!Report

  15. V Evan says:

    Our children must not face yet a more polluted, chlorinated landscape than already exists. Greed and short term gain must be over-ruled by a global ethics of respect and basic humanity towards all living beings.Report

  16. maria peteinaraki says:

    stop the violence and keep the animals safe…Report

  17. The Truth says:

    It’s past the time of concern that the large Food Industries are telling the Governmental Departments how to process and package food in our food system. Once this stops the People will get safer, cleaner food!Report

  18. Barbara Moore says:

    The Chemicals??? Isn’t it bad enough they’ve been shown to be hazardous to workers? Must the health of the general public continue to be subjected to the same fate? When will enough be enough? We must prevent devastating social, health and economic consequences of the widening chemical contamination from our food supply including chickens. It’s time to stop that chemical contamination NOW!Report

  19. Karen Peterson says:

    Why is it necessary to further contaminate? It makes no sense and
    the Europeans are far smarter about protecting their food.Report

  20. Steven Sugarman says:

    Halt all chemical use now!!Report

  21. Barbara Peterlin says:

    It is not right for the chickens to be tested because this is curelty on the chickens from the chemical company. Please stop testing the chickens.Report

  22. Steven Sugarman says:

    Halt all chemical and antibiotic use.Report

  23. David S. Nichols says:

    Stop using hazardous chemicals in processing US chicken.Report

  24. Jonnie says:

    Stop using chemicals in our chickens,and all of our foods. They are not needed, nor are they wanted. I’m tired of being poisoned, with my government’s o.k., just so someone can make more money, than they need.Report

  25. Christie Krueger-Locy says:

    Halt all chemical use now!Report

  26. NANCY says:


  27. Don Hughes says:

    That is one reason I don’t eat red meat of any kind.Report

  28. Bev Thomas says:

    stop all the chemicals and antibiotics in chicken, please.Report

  29. faith franck says:

    I want the USDA, the FDA and the EPA to stop the toxicity in our environment — the food grown here is totally lacking in nutrition thanks to all the pesticides, herbecides and fungicides, the air & water quality is atrocious and these agencies that are supposed to protect us from environmental harm are working for the pharmaceutical, chemical and fossil fuel ompanies,Report

  30. Carisa Dalton says:

    We don’t need any more chemicals in our bodies. I don’t get why this is not being addressed by the people who are supposed to regulate this and why more people aren’t mad about this. I am a vegetarian patently for this very reason.Report

  31. Diane Sacchetti says:

    ATTENTION: USDA, the FDA and the EPA
    Our food is being compromised… You are not doing your job. We are eating poisoned garbage… How do you sleep at night?Report

  32. Deb V says:

    Our chicken should be just chicken. Not antibiotic and hormone treated, pesticide-soaked-grain fed, and washed in a chemical cocktail. That is disgusting and unhealthy.Report

  33. Lisa D'Ambrosio says:

    This is disgusting.Report

  34. Janet Martucci says:

    The way these poor birds are treated makes my cry.Report

  35. Helen Hays says:

    Just because I enjoy chicken does not mean I have to have the chemicals, like bleach, that are used to clean harvested birds. No chemicals used to treat chicken in the U.S.Report

  36. Alita DeMarco says:

    I will and have only eaten organic food for 45 years and I am doing So for 65 more years . Chemicals are for labs , you are trying to kill Americans so you don’t have to pay Social Security and what you do to our food is Pure EvilReport

  37. Kathy says:

    When are you folks going to get it? Clean food without pesticides, chemicals, etc are better for people, animals and the environment.Report

  38. Maren Kentfield says:

    I feel we are slowly being poisoned. We need to work together to stop this.Report

  39. danielle says:

    i will quit buying chickens until they have no chemicals in themReport

  40. Michele denski says:

    This is absolutely disgusting not only for the poor chickens but also for the unlucky people who will eat them. This is exactly why I became a vegetarian!Report

  41. María Eugenia Castro says:

    Basta ya de intruducir productos químicos en los animales,ya sea antibióticos,cloro u otras sustancias.Cada vez mas,es preciso el uso
    de químicos para proveer mayor cantidad de animales para una mayor producción,¿Pero cuál es el costo?Report

  42. Laurie LaGoe says:

    Chicken started tasting more and more awful throughout my adulthood. I always hated skinless chicken because it was tasteless.

    Now I know why! Factory farming!Report

  43. Cheryl says:

    If they don’t then I ‘m moving out of state an country. At least I will be alive. And well.Report

  44. Lara says:

    This is totally unacceptable. Stop poisoning the human race with more chemicals!Report

  45. Clara says:

    Best solution is to stop eating meat entirely! That way you don’t support any of these companies and you get to save lives!Report

  46. Primitivo Pérez García says:

    Food is important. The more natural the betterReport

  47. George Psychogidis says:

    healthy food – healthy lifeReport

  48. marla says:

    our government allows the industry’s to do this!!!! another failure in the system to protect the consumer!!!! the American people!!!! WHY???Report

  49. Zdenka says:

    Stop using chemicals in our food. I want to eat a natural food.Report

  50. r manek says:

    No to chemicals in my food stop poisoning us even more then the governments are. I want good natural wholesome food.Report



  52. J. Ditursi says:

    Please say no to chemicals in our food!! Everyone that I know wants to eat organic. non gmo, chemical, hormone, steroid and antibiotic free food. Please help us get back to real clean healthy foods. Think long and hard about the american people and not a handful of chemical companies filling up their wallets.Report

  53. Stephen Cardwell says:

    Please, no chemicals in our food. They are dangerous.Report

  54. Bruno Miguel Santos Prata says:

    A lot of people around the world, including myself, don’t want chemicals in the food. They are absolutely disgusting and also potentially dangerous to their health. So, I want to join billions of people just to say no on chemical products in our food.Report

  55. Diane Jones says:

    I also don’t want chemicals in my food and I’m allergic to so many chemicals now that it could become life threatening.

  56. ROBERT J. NERGER says:

    Please, No more Chemicals in food.Report

  57. Silvana moreno says:

    Please stop the chemical in our food.Report

  58. Margaret Goodman says:

    Stop putting poisons o our food.Report

  59. donye sacco says:


  60. Gail says:

    Stop the chemicals in my food!Report


    prevent easy: do not eat meat! the animals will Thank you!Report

  62. Herman S. Simms, Jr. says:

    DUH, why do you poison people?Report

  63. Fay Herrington says:

    Please stop murdering us. Eliminate all additives in our food!Report

  64. Jordanna Newman says:

    Stop putting chemicals in our Food and vacations as well stop poisoning us with this crap.Report

  65. rosie says:

    Creator never meant for us to eat chemicals, why don’t we just eat chemicals instead of organics! We’re tired of these corporations poisoning us. That’s why I’m selective where I eat.Report

  66. Laura De la Garza says:

    Stop addung chemicals to our food!Report

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