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PostPosted: August 14 19, 8:08 am 
gone fission
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Joined: December 11 07, 4:15 pm
Posts: 8072
Location: Twin Cities, MN
Oh for [expletive]'s sake. The government has learned nothing from the Boeing 737 MAX crashes (and they specifically reference it here). [expletive] you, Trump administration. ... ocid=ientp

Tyson, one of the country’s largest meatpackers, is petitioning the Trump administration to reduce the number of government inspectors at a Kansas beef plant — a proposal that has raised alarms among some consumer and food safety advocates, who fear the changes could jeopardize public health.

In the request, Tyson Fresh Meats proposes using its own employees, rather than independent Department of Agriculture inspectors, to take a first look at the meat being prepared at its factory in Holcomb, Kansas. Tyson’s employees would identify unsuitable beef carcasses and trim away defects, before USDA inspectors check every carcass that is allowed to go forward for disease and contamination, Tyson said in its March waiver proposal, which was obtained by the advocacy group Food and Water Watch through a Freedom of Information Act request. The shift would allow Tyson to speed up its factory line.

The USDA is considering Tyson’s request — the first of its kind for a beef plant — as part of a broader overhaul of beef inspections that aims to shift quality control from government inspectors to factory workers, while focusing the USDA’s attention on more targeted safety checks.

"We have to utilize our resources in order to do those tasks that have a direct impact on public health," Carmen Rottenberg, administrator for the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, said.

Consumer advocates warn that the changes could threaten food safety by keeping red flags out of the sight of expert inspectors. Dr. Pat Basu, the USDA’s former chief veterinarian, said that Tyson factory workers without adequate training might miss critical signs of disease, drug injections or bacterial contamination — and remove the evidence before USDA inspectors can examine the carcasses.

“They are bypassing safeguards,” Basu, who retired from the USDA in early 2018, said. “It could be devastating for the whole country — you cannot turn it over.”

Tyson’s request comes as the Trump administration is finalizing a similar overhaul for pork plants, which will allow them to reduce the number of USDA inspectors by having factory workers take over more quality control tasks.

James Goodwin, a senior policy analyst for the left-leaning Center for Progressive Reform, believes the USDA’s efforts are the latest example of federal agencies “moving forward further and further towards industry-led oversight.” Industries play a significant role in the routine work performed by many regulatory agencies, such as the Food and Drug Administration, which has manufacturers test new drugs, then send the results to the government for approval. But Goodwin warns that the hazards of the broader shift are clear, pointing to the Federal Aviation Administration's practice of delegating critical safety assessments of planes to the airline industry — a policy that's now under investigation in the case of the fatal Boeing 737 MAX crashes.

PostPosted: August 14 19, 8:33 am 
Seeking a Zubaz seamstress

Joined: September 4 07, 1:48 pm
Posts: 24872
Location: St. Louis
For [expletive] Sake is right. This got a quick mention in the article the plant Tyson wants fewer inspections is currently closed because of a major fire it had last week
But go ahead, we can count on Tyson self-inspect regulate after they rebuild the plant.

Anybody hungry?



Tyson said in a news release that it will recruit some employees to rebuild the plant, which processes about 5% of the country’s cattle.

The fire broke out Friday night and burned for more than 12 hours in the area where incoming cattle are slaughtered. Roughly 1,200 workers were evacuated from the plant, with no injury reports.

Holcomb Fire Chief Bob Knight said the cause of the blaze hasn’t been confirmed, but that welding on the floor above the kill area is suspected.

The Kansas Fire Marshal is investigating and Knight said it will probably take several weeks before the official cause is determined.

Tyson deployed its hazardous materials team to the site Friday to assist firefighters. Knight said there was some concern about chemicals such as anhydrous ammonia and carbon dioxide, which is why he stayed in contact with the National Weather Service throughout the evening — to determine wind direction.

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