Finding out that the chicken on your plate has been through an intense chemical bath is not very appetizing, but industry insiders and whistleblowers feel you should know the truth about poultry, the largest segment of U.S. agriculture.
USDA poultry inspectors have been raising concerns about the dangerous changes in the industry for years, including the harmful health impacts from excessive chemical use at processing plants.
Chemical use in poultry will be touched upon on today’s episode of Dr. Oz: Inside the Chicken Industry – Is Something Foul?, bringing to the public sphere what whistleblowers have been voicing to the Food Integrity Campaign for some time.
What many Americans don’t know is that the USDA is planning to expand a pilot inspection program that will make chemical use and the problems that come with it more serious and widespread. The Campaign launched a petition urging the agency to listen to its own employees who believe the plan is bad for consumers, bad for workers, and bad for animals!
Under the program – which involves faster line speeds and reduced oversight – en mass chemical sprays are taking over the job of handling contamination rather than selective manual sorting by trained government inspectors. Former chicken inspector Sherry Medina has detailed how this practice forced her to retire early due to serious health problems she experienced at a Tyson Foods plant in Alabama. Watch her tell her story on a recent TV news report:
Sherry isn’t the only one affected by this extreme chemical spraying. Other inspectors are suffering but can’t risk their jobs by speaking up. More coverage of industry insiders’ concerns on shows like Dr. Oz will hopefully enable more people to take action and send a clear message to the USDA that its problematic poultry plan is unacceptable. Sign our petition and help spread the word!
Sarah Damian is Communications Manager for the Food Integrity Campaign.