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USDA Inspectors: Government 'HIMP' Plan is a Threat to Food Safety

GAP Releases Early Evidence From HIMP Investigation – Shocking Whistleblower Affidavits Detailing Dangers of Poultry Plant Self-Inspection

Today, the Government Accountability Project (GAP) is releasing evidence it has gathered from federal poultry inspectors/whistleblowers about the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposal to fully implement a high-speed poultry production model known as the HAACP-Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) – designed by the USDA Food Safety & Inspection Service (FSIS) that allows greater corporate "self-policing" of the poultry industry.

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'Pink Slime' Investigation, Gov. Branstad? Here's a Timeline.

thumb_foshee_timelineIowa Governor Terry Branstad has taken it upon himself to fight for 'pink slime' maker Beef Products, Inc.'s honor, calling for a congressional investigation into what he labels a "smear campaign" against ammoniated beef (or Lean Finely Trimmed Beef, as the industry calls it). Repeating the sentiments of BPI President Eldon Roth, Branstad (as if he represented the company himself) attacks recent media coverage of 'pink slime' as "misinformation."

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Rally Recap: Don't Play Chicken with My Food Safety!

chicken_suitWhat's a rally without a chicken suit? Or three? The mood was lively as a big circle of USDA inspectors represented by American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), joined by members of GAP's Food Integrity Campaign (FIC), Food & Water Watch, Consumer Federation of America and other concerned citizens (and human-size chickens), kept pace outside the USDA Visitor's Center chanting "What do we want? Safe chicken! When do we want it? Now!"

The federal employees and consumer watchdogs at the rally made it clear that the USDA attempt to deregulate poultry inspection by expanding HIMP is a threat to the consumer, and a move that ultimately prioritizes cost-savings over food safety. Signs read: "Don't play chicken with my food safety" and "Chicken inspection is not a speed sport!"

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Rally Outside USDA Today to Protest Poultry Inspection Privatization

poultry_linePhoto: USDAIf you think "pink slime" is bad, what about thousands of scabbed and potentially contaminated chicken going down plant conveyor lines at almost 200 birds per minute, with less federal inspectors present? That scary image is the reason FIC will be joining federal inspectors and other concerned groups in protest today against USDA's proposal to make that image a reality. The agency aims to reduce the role of government inspectors at poultry plants, allegedly to focus their efforts on areas "that pose the greatest risk to food safety," as parroted in this Washington Post blog.

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GAP to Join Federal Food Workers to Protest Privatized Poultry Inspection

poultry_inspectorPhoto: USDAOn Monday, April 2, GAP will be joining federal USDA employees and fellow consumer watchdogs for a rally outside the Agriculture Department D.C. headquarters in protest of the agency's proposal to hand over poultry inspection responsibilities to industry.

The USDA calls it "modernizing" poultry slaughter inspection, but if we're going to be frank, the move would essentially privatize inspection, which is definitely not the way to go if food safety is the top priority.

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‘Pink Slime’ Maker Goes On Offensive, But Whistleblower Messages Remain

ground_beefNews coverage of "pink slime" continues as the ammoniated beef maker, Beef Products, Inc. (BPI), tries to restore consumer confidence in its product's safety and to regain business it has lost due to the recent uproar. ABC News, leading the way in reporting on the issue, says BPI is organizing a consumer education program, countering what the company calls a "mis-information campaign" by media outlets, including ABC.

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Tomato Industry Exec Pleads Guilty to Price Fixing & Admits Moldy Products

tomato_can_attImage via wikimedia user Nomadic LassNews has broken that dirty dealings enabled the food industry to sell consumers substandard and outdated tomato products, including some that had mold contents above federal guidelines, at higher prices.

Frederick Scott Salyer, former owner of what once was one of the largest U.S. producers of tomato products – California-based SK Foods – pled guilty last week to price fixing and bribing major food companies to buy his company's low-quality products.

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