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AFGE Member, right now federal inspectors – many of them AFGE members – inspect all chicken and turkey for bruises, bile, feces, and more before they end up on your dinner plate. If we want things to stay that way, we need to take our case to the White House.
The USDA is now considering a new poultry slaughter program that would eliminate federal inspection and allow private poultry processing plants to do whatever they want. When a privatization program like this was tried out in the 1990s, the stuff that ended up in the food was gag-worthy. The most common problem? "Dressing defects"... such as feathers, lungs, oil glands, trachea, and bile still on the carcass.
Last week, we delivered 150,000 signatures – including thousands from AFGE members – protesting the USDA's proposal to put the fox in charge of the henhouse. Because budget cuts are driving this decision, we'll have to get the White House's attention to win this fight.
Sign our new White House "We the People" petition opposing the privatization of poultry inspection by May 29th. If we can get 25,000 signatures, it will trigger a response from the administration before the May 29th USDA commenting deadline.
"We the People" petitions were created precisely for moments like this, to give Americans an opportunity to bring their concerns directly to the White House. But since the official USDA comment period ends May 29th, I'm worried we don't have a lot of time.
We're working hand-in-hand with a number of allied groups to hit the 25,000 goal in time. But since it's our co-workers who will lose their jobs if this proposal goes forward, it's on us to step up in a big way.
Not to mention, I doubt you have any more interest than I do in any of that chicken...stuff...ending up in your mouth.
The only people who benefit from this proposal are poultry companies, and boy do they ever benefit. The USDA itself reported that the new poultry inspection system would give a $250 million windfall to poultry companies.
So let me summarize. This proposal will cost middle-class jobs, but reward big companies. When it was tried before, it resulted in bile, feces, and chicken tumors making their way into meals. Do you really want to sit this one out?
I know this whole topic is pretty gross. Honestly, there are a lot of things I'd rather be talking about. But there are jobs and lives on the line. And a fight like this helps remind Americans that federal employees are out there, every day, working to keep them safe.
It's worth it.
P.S. I know the sign-up process for "We The People" is drawn out, but it's just that way to ensure people are real. Please do take just a minute to enter your information if you haven't signed one before. Thank you.
For the latest updates on your pension, pay, budget cuts, and other news, text "NoCuts" on your personal phone to 225-568 or sign up online.
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