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Published: November, 2012; Vol 9, Num 6

 

Talking Turkey about Poultry Regulation

No doubt, some government regulations can stand revision, but the latest proposal from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) graphically demonstrates how far anti-regulatory lobbyists will go to limit government "interference" in corporate production.

The idea is to eliminate federal inspectors in poultry plants – that's right, the ones who inspect your Thanksgiving turkeys – and allow the poultry industry to inspect its own operations. That will save the government money.

Nevertheless, of course, the industry and its USDA collaborators realize that some standards must be applied to private inspections. Therefore, the proposed USDA regulation would require inspection lines to move no faster than three birds per second.

Three birds per second?! Here's what that looks like:

Speeding Poultry

A coalition of labor, consumer and public health groups, the Coalition for Sensible Safeguards, launched a campaign against the proposed regulatory change on September 17, 2012. One of its members, the National Council of La Raza, is directing a letter-writing campaign aimed at Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. You can sign the petition here.

It's time to talk turkey about the anti-regulatory agenda that has swept up so many politicians in recent years. Sensible regulations are a vital protection against the consequences – perhaps unintended but nevertheless dangerous – of uninhibited corporate profit-taking.

[Steve Clark]