From the PCRM:
Chicken products may soon carry fecal contamination warning labels if the U.S. Department of Agriculture complies with a legal petition the Physicians Committee filed March 14. The petition calls on the USDA to declare feces an adulterant in poultry products and label products to warn consumers about likely contamination.
“USDA should make consumers aware that chicken often contains feces,” says Mark Kennedy, director of legal affairs with the Physicians Committee. “Contaminated chicken often passes right through inspection, is marketed as ‘wholesome,’ and lands on unsuspecting consumers’ dinner plates, feces and all.”
Kennedy also wrote to the co-chairs of the newly reorganized Congressional Chicken Caucus, Reps. Rick Crawford and Sanford Bishop, urging an immediate industry-wide shift to the petition’s proposed guidelines and labels.
Although USDA holds a zero-tolerance policy for fecal contamination, it applies to visible feces only. Consumers assume that this policy guarantees that the products they eat are not tainted with fecal matter. In practice, however, enforcement standards are lax, allowing fecal contamination as long as the feces are not touching chicken skin or visible to the naked eye. As a result, contaminated meat and poultry products pass inspection.
A federal inspector said, “We often see birds going down the line with intestines still attached, which are full of fecal contamination. If there is no fecal contamination on the bird’s skin, however, we can do nothing to stop that bird from going down that line. It is more than reasonable to assume that once the bird gets into the chill tank, that contamination will enter the water and contaminate all of the other carcasses in the chiller. That’s why it is sometimes called ‘fecal soup.’”
Nearly half the chicken products sold in supermarkets are contaminated with feces, according to independent laboratory testing commissioned by the Physicians Committee in 2012. The study analyzed chicken samples from 15 grocery store chains in 10 major U.S. cities. The Physicians Committee’s petition explains that even thorough cooking does not remove feces from meat.
“Feces may contain round worms, hair worms, tape worms, and leftover bits of whatever the animal excreting the feces may have eaten, not to mention the usual fecal components of digestive juices and various chemicals that the animal was in the process of excreting,” the petition states.
“The presence of feces can shut down a neighborhood pool for days,” says Joseph Gonzales, R.D., staff dietitian with the Physicians Committee. “No one wants to swim in feces, much less eat it. Consumers deserve to know that the chicken breasts or ground beef they’re purchasing is likely contaminated with feces.”
From The Humane League (I don’t have any connection to them other than I want to be able to provide any good resources available to help people make the right, compassionate choices)
The biggest thing that any individual can do to help animals and reduce the amount of cruelty in the world is to stop consuming animal products, including chicken, fish, eggs, red meat and milk.
The average American eats nearly one hundred animals per year, with most of these being chicken and fish. (It’s important to note that chickens and fish feel pain and have distinct personalities just as dogs and cats do.)
Most animals (including fish) are raised in intensive conditions where animals cannot exhibit instinctive behaviors or live any semblance of a natural life. Many are confined in cages so small they cannot or can barely turn around, and most spend their entire lives indoors in dark, filthy sheds. To learn more about animal agriculture and how you can make more compassionate food choices, please click here.
What’s the bright side of all of this? The bright side is that each person who reduces their meat consumption, eats vegetarian, or eats vegan will in the course of their lifetime spare hundreds or thousands of animals from the daily misery of animal agriculture. This provides The Humane League a tremendous opportunity to help animals through effective vegetarian advocacy work.
Each year we hand out hundreds of thousands of detailed Compassionate Choices booklets on college campuses and at concerts and festivals. These booklets give the public an eye-opening look at factory farming and provide resources and tips for going veg. Each year we hear from many people who went vegetarian as a result of getting a leaflet from us.
We also distribute tens of thousands of free Vegetarian Starter Kits through public news stand boxes (the same kind of news stand boxes you might get a free weekly newspaper or an Auto Trader guide from), located on busy city streets and by public transportation centers. Thousands of Veg Starter Kits are also mailed out each year to individuals who order them through our comprehensive veg resource site,VegStarterPack.com.
We created VegStarterPack.com to provide a concise collection of the best resources available online for anyone interested in eating vegetarian. To further help people make the transition, we’ve launched three statewide guides to veg-friendly restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, bars and more.
A very important component of our vegetarian advocacy work is online outreach, exposing key audiences to videos about factory farm cruelty and helpful resources on veg eating. We are currently drawing nearly 100,000 visitors each month to our Who’s Against Animal Cruelty website through targeted Facebook advertisements and a viral outreach campaign.
In addition, we air television programs about factory farm cruelty and vegan cooking on numerous PBS, college and public access television stations. Our programs are designed both to educate the public and to inspire people to make a difference for animals in their own lives.
The Humane League also regularly tables at festivals, fairs and other community events to educate the public about animal agriculture and provide helpful resources for vegetarian eating. Lastly, we host an annual Baltimore Veg Fest to promote veg eating in the Maryland region.
The Humane League is always seeking volunteers to work with us on these easy and highly effective veg advocacy programs, in particular our veg leafleting. To get involved, please sign up today to be a part of The Humane League!
Not animal related, but related in the sense of allowing freedom for ALL beings.
Take Action: Support Imprisoned Atheist Bloggers In Bangladesh
I’m contacting you today with information about a terrifying situation involving three atheist bloggers in Bangladesh and laws that make the expression of a person’s religious beliefs illegal if that expression might be offensive to the religious beliefs of others.
Police recently arrested these atheist bloggers in Bangladesh after they were accused of “defaming Islam and the prophet Mohammed.“ As a result of their atheistic blogs, each faces up to 10 years in jail for something that should never be a crime in any country that claims to respect religious freedom and the freedom of expression.
This isn’t the first case of atheist bloggers being arrested for a “crime” against religion. We informed you last year about Egyptian atheist Alber Saber, who was arrested and remains in prison for insulting Islam and the prophet Mohammed.
This alarming trend of arresting atheists is spreading throughout the world. I need your help to raise awareness of the situation to high-level government officials who must take action now.
Religious beliefs should be respected, even if they differ drastically from our own. However, religious groups and individuals must remember that they are not immune from having their beliefs questioned, nor do they have the right to imprison others who they feel have insulted their faith.
These men do not deserve to sit in jail for being atheists or for challenging religion. With your help, we can help assist them in their quest for freedom and vindication.
Thank you for defending the basic human right to believe—and not believe.
P.S. The American Humanist Association is working with the U.S. State Department and the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) to support the atheist bloggers who have been arrested. Help make an impact—take action now.
Why not use your position as a “star,” to advocate going animal milk free all together? At least this is a start, but I am getting tired of half-assed attempts (Sorry, Ryan). Does anyone have the courage to advocate COMPLETE abstinence of any and all kinds of animal exploitation/consumption/slaughter?
LOS ANGELES — He’s not milking his fame, but Ryan Gosling is lending his name to the cause of cows.
The 32-year-old actor sent a letter this week to the National Milk Producers Federation urging the group to advocate against the industry practice of removing calves’ horns. He asks that they help stop what he calls a “barbaric practice” by requiring farmers to breed naturally hornless cattle.
The letter was released Wednesday by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Gosling has worked with the group before in its campaign urging KFC to adopt more humane methods of slaughtering chickens.
A spokesman from the National Milk Producers Federation said Wednesday that cows’ horns are dangerous and de-horning reduces injuries to both cows and people.