Editor's note: This contribution by the late journalist I.F. Stone first appeared in our January 1975 magazine.
I'm getting ready to gobble up that big Thanksgiving feast, but I almost lost my appetite when I read that the USDA has proposed a rule that would lessen regulation on the poultry companies.
It would allow poultry processors to speed up their production lines by five times the current rate.
You know what that would mean?
More injuries by workers, who would lose fingers and limbs.
And less chance that federal inspectors would be able to find defects like tumors and scabs, or even feces.
Actually, the USDA wants to reduce the role of federal inspectors and turn much of the monitoring over to the companies themselves, which is a recipe for a salmonella epidemic.
Not sure why the Obama Administration is doing this, since the President during the campaign went around talking about the need to regulate corporations to ensure safe work places and consumer protection.
But it is what it is: Corporate power still dominates.
Fortunately, a coalition of labor, public health and consumer groups, including the AFL-CIO and Food and Water Watch, has been urging the Department of Agriculture to shelve the rule.
There's even a petition on change.org, where you can register your indigestion.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "Congress's Shameful Support for Israeli Bombing."
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