Snark: to annoy or irritate

"Snark" has been in English language dictionaries since at least 1906, and Lewis Carroll used the word to describe a mythological animal in his poem, The Hunting of the Snark (1874). Most recently, the word has come to characterize snappish, sarcastic, or mean-spirited comments or actions directed at those who annoy or irritate us.

At first, this blog was just going be a place to gripe, but because it's more satisfying to take action than it is to merely complain, now most of the posts/reposts suggest ways to get involved in solving problems.


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Monday, May 21, 2012

New Poultry Inspection Plan

Stop USDA's dangerous new poultry inspection plan.
A message from CREDO Action:

Three chickens per second.
Under a new plan proposed by USDA, that's how fast inspectors would have to conduct quality control inspections in poultry factories — six times the current rate.
Worse, USDA's proposed rules privatize these inspections, letting the industry police itself by replacing highly trained USDA food inspectors with poultry facility employees who have no required training.1
Salmonella in our meat and poultry makes nearly a million people sick every year in the US — it's our number one cause of food-borne illness. USDA's new plan could make the problem even worse, and we have just days to stop it.
Food safety groups are opposing the standards and veteran poultry inspectors are calling them "a big step back," and "a very, very bad idea."2
Current rules provide for three inspectors to examine 140 birds per minute. Under the new rules, inspections would speed up to 200 per minute — with only one inspector on the line. Even the professionals say that is way too fast.
With far less time to inspect each chicken, unsanitary, defective poultry meat has a higher chance of making it into our supermarkets. And while USDA says it would save less than $30 million per year on poultry inspection costs, it could cost the agency (and us) far more to deal with potential increases in foodborne illness.
Speeding up the poultry line isn't just hazardous to our health — it's also hazardous to those who work in poultry factories. Poultry workers already have an alarming rate of workplace injury from conditions which include a workplace full sharp objects like knives and scissors, and from the repetitive nature of poultry factory tasks. Speeding up the chicken line will only make conditions even more hazardous.3
But while food and worker safety will undoubtedly suffer, the new rules are expected to result in a quarter of a billion dollar windfall to poultry companies.
The safety of our food, especially poultry which has such a high incidence of contamination, should be the highest priority of USDA. If their answer is less quality control inspection, more dangerous workplace conditions, and allowing an industry with a horrible safety record to police itself, it's probably time to go back to the drawing board.
Click below to submit a comment to the USDA before the May 29th deadline:
http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=3912&id=40316-2593817-tRzqtxx&t=9
Thank you for fighting for safe and healthy food.
Elijah Zarlin, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets

1. "Poultry Inspectors Protest Inspection Proposal at USDA," Food Saftey News, April 3, 2012
2. Privatized Meat Inspection Experiment Jeopardizes Food Safety," Food and Water Watch, March 7, 2012
3. Civil rights group: Stop speedup in poultry plants!," People's World, May 10, 2012

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