Chemicals Used In Poultry Plants
Poultry is one of the most commonly processed foods in America.
Society often wonders how this food is being processed; however knowing how the food is being processed is not as critical as understanding what it is being processed with. When hearing the two words “food” and “chemicals” together, a red flag automatically arises because it seems as if they do not belong with each other. The reality is that there are chemicals used during the production of all foods. However, all of these chemicals are not harmful, but some can become deadly if they are used the wrong way. Every industry is always looking for an easier and faster way to make money; in this case these poultry plants turn to chemicals that are extremely harmful. These are concerns that should be raised in society today.
Antimicrobial chemicals that are used in the U.S. when trying to produce poultry more efficiently, in terms of time and money, are harmful to the health of plant workers and consumers. These regulations should be altered despite the concern for financial expenses to protect the health and lives of those exposed.Jose Navarro was a poultry inspector who died in 2011 due to lung and kidney failure caused by the exposure to the chemicals used in the poultry plants. “His death triggered a federal investigation that raised questions about the health risks associated with a rise in the use of toxic, bacteria-killing chemicals in poultry plants”.
The use of these chemicals has become dangerous to the plant workers who are constantly exposed to the meat and other substances that it is processed with. Processing plants rely on these chemicals to remove pathogens and contaminants. However, these pathogens and contaminants escape notice because of the speeds of the processing lines. These plants are speeding up the lines in order to produce things more efficiently, thus making more money. This is defeating the purpose of the use of these chemicals while taking innocent lives. The investigation is bringing awareness to the fact that these toxic chemicals are not worth the risk of lives of plant workers and consumers.
In fact, plant workers described a range of ailments they acquired to chemical exposure in an interview “including asthma and other respiratory problems, burns, rashes, irritated eyes, and sinus ulcers and other sinus problems.” These chemicals are causing health problems and these plants should put their lust for money aside to focus on a solution to this catastrophe.It is the greed of these poultry plants that led to an increased use of toxic chemicals which are supposed to allow the company to make and save more money by producing more birds at a faster rate. Kindy argues that “the proposed rules grew out of a USDA pilot program which agency officials said was designed to enhance food safety by reducing pathogens. There are financial incentives for both the USDA and the industry”.
The agency expects to save ninety million dollars during the next three years through staff reductions, and plants could save more than 200,000,000 dollars annually. This proves that the plants are looking for an easy way out in order to save money and they are turning to new chemicals and staff reductions in order to fulfill this desire. This becomes a dangerous situation when money is involved because these companies and the USDA are driven by the financial power that these chemicals have.As shocking as it seems, the workers’ health does not go into consideration, which places them at an even greater risk to be exposed to these chemicals. It’s pathetic that only their staff reductions are thought about when these chemicals are in the picture, instead of what is really important. On top of that, the line speeds are so fast, that it doesn’t exactly spot all contamination as the birds pass by.
“Their attitude is, let the chemicals do the work.” This is not wise because these chemicals are not as effective as they seem.The increased use of chemicals is masking the presence of salmonella thus defeating the purpose to kill pathogens and putting the consumers’ lives in danger. While the chemicals are working, it is also coating the presence of a deadly bacterium. “The U.
S. Department of Agriculture is reviewing research showing that bacteria-killing chemicals used in chicken slaughterhouses may be masking the presence of salmonella and other pathogens that remain on the birds that consumers buy, according to records and interviews.”Not only are these chemicals putting the lives and health of the plant workers at risk for respiratory problems, but they are also putting the lives of the consumers at risk for salmonella. The respiratory problems are just the half of the situation for the industry workers. They also take other physical tolls to these chemicals such as burns and rashes.
When it comes to the citizens, it seems as if they are totally blinded to the fact that their food may be infected with salmonella and the companies aren’t doing anything about it. This is a major problem and America should be worried when it comes to their health and the food they eat.A Youtube video was posted showing a laboratory experiment that the company says proves CPC is not neutralized if not adequately rinsed when the test sample is taken and therefore produces false test results. It is also proven that the FDA does not conduct its own research but examines data provided by the chemical manufactures.The FDA is relying on which could possibly be false test results that was not adequately obtained from the test sample.
This reveals that these chemicals are useless and very dangerous because a simple mistake of not adequately rinsing the poultry could let to a death of a citizen. Being used at a high dosage, increases the risk of contamination, and it may also make Americans question other treatments given to the birds during reproduction.According to a supplement article written by students at Ontario Veterinary College, these treatments work best if given to an entire group. While promoting the growth of the birds, allowing them to develop faster, these chemicals and hormones are also saving the companies money. In this economic society, it is important for companies to save money to make more money.
Every industry in today’s society is always looking for a faster and easier way to do things. “Therapeutic treatments are intended for animals that are diseased. In food animal production, individual animals may be treated, but it is more efficient to treat entire groups by medicating feed or water. For some animals, such as poultry and fish, mass medication is the only feasible means of treatment. (McEwen).
” Companies may feel that it is best to do things in favor of the entire group, while this all seems like good things, there are consequences. In this case, those consequences are deadly.The mass treatments, which are supposed to be promoting growth, are infused with alternative chemicals which are meant to neutralize pathogens – thus, masking the presence of salmonella. The lack of caution and awareness that these companies have has proven that they do not pay attention to detail and double check things. Otherwise, had they, they would have seen what these chemicals are doing to the consumers and the workers and they would have put a stop to it. The chemicals are not effective because they lead to other deadly problems, in cases such as the cover-up of salmonella and the exposure of chemicals to the plant workers that of which may cause many physical complications.
“Officials said that any increase in chemical use in recent years is the result of plants trying to comply with stricter USDA requirements for reducing pathogens, including salmonella.” However, if a stricter requirement is a chemical that can eventually lead to the death of a worker or a consumer, than this idea should not be considered whatsoever. These companies need to come up with a solution that is not fatal to anyone put in the midst of it. The Growth Hormones that are used are not as much of a concern compared to the Antimicrobial chemicals that are used in these plants. Therefore, they are not considered during the investigation or the mass treatments.
The problem is the attention to detail that theses companies lack and it is becoming a huge problem in the food industry. Many companies continue with the use of these chemicals because of the financial concern that they have. However, when peoples’ lives are at stake, there are measure that need to be taken.The FDA should take matters into their own hands so that the lives of workers and consumers are not put at extreme risk. These chemicals that are used should cease and poultry production plants should find an alternative solution to killing pathogens and bacteria that doesn’t lead to the death and illness of workers or the masking of the presence of salmonella. Being that the names of these chemicals and the companies are unknown makes it an even bigger concern.
America needs to speak up about what is going on with the food that they are being provided by these companies. The workers’ and consumers’ lives should not be put at risk due to a more efficient and deadly way to produce poultry.