October 2, 2007
Amendment will eliminate a 40-year-old protection in the federal meat and poultry inspection acts
Washington, D.C. – The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) today joined forces with the Consumer Federation of America, Safe Tables Our Priority and other consumer and watchdog groups to oppose an amendment in the Senate Farm Bill that puts consumers and food workers at risk of foodborne illnesses. The pending amendment will eliminate a 40-year-old protection in the federal meat and poultry inspection acts that bans state inspected meat and poultry from being sold in interstate commerce. The amendment will also allow meat and poultry plants to forgo federal inspections and increase the risk of foodborne illnesses in the United States.
“Any notion that state inspection systems are equal to the federal system is hogwash,” said Michael J. Wilson, UFCW International Vice President and Director of Legislative and Political Action. “States have no ability to recall tainted products, and state inspectors are not accountable to consumers in other states. Any effort to devolve federal oversight of meat and poultry plants to states is a threat to consumer safety and will further subject food workers to unsanitary work conditions.”
For more than 100 years, the UFCW has been fighting to improve the working conditions of food workers and the safety of our food, and currently represents more than a quarter of a million workers in the meatpacking and poultry industries. In addition to protecting the rights of food workers, the UFCW is also a founding member of the Safe Food Coalition which consists of consumer groups, groups representing victims of foodborne illnesses, and watchdog groups that are dedicated to reducing the incidence of foodborne illnesses in the United States.