US meat supply is riddled with feces, doctors claim in a lawsuit against the government in a bid to wipe fecal matter from our food
- The government maintains a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on feces in food
- The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says that only applies to ‘visible’ fecal matter
- They filed a lawsuit against the USDA on Tuesday calling for tighter regulations
The US meat supply is riddled with fecal matter, a new lawsuit against the government claims.
While the government maintains a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on feces in food, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says that only applies to ‘visible’ fecal matter.
They say the rise in E. coli outbreaks linked to meat is evidence that invisible traces of fecal matter are slipping through the net and into Americans’ kitchens and stomachs.
The North American Meat Institute, which represents meat packers and processors, insists E. coli is not exclusively linked to feces. (‘A swab of phones and keyboards would likely find E. coli, but that doesn’t mean there is ‘poop’ on your phone,’ they wrote).
But the Physicians Committee does not agree, filing a lawsuit last Tuesday – the latest in its eight-year battle to wipe feces from the meat supply.
While the government maintains a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on feces in food, the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine says that only applies to ‘visible’ fecal matter
The Committee’s vendetta began in 2011, when they conducted a study on 120 chicken products sold at 15 chains in 10 US cities. They found 48 percent of chicken had fecal matter that hadn’t been weeded out.
In last week’s lawsuit, they say that proportion has risen.
They do not provide new study data to back it up, but they say a change in how chicken is processed can only mean that inspection has become more lax.
In 2014, new rules allowed factories to speed up slaughter and processing lines, to inspect up to 175 birds a minute. That means that, instead of four people inspecting each line, one person inspects each line.
To hammer home their point, the Committee quoted a federal inspector in the lawsuit, saying: ‘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 (a large vat of cold water), 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.”‘
‘USDA misleads consumers every time inspectors slap a ‘wholesome’ label on contaminated food,’ says Deborah Dubow Press, Esq., associate general counsel for the Physicians Committee, who authored the lawsuit.
‘Consumers should be horrified to know that USDA’s standard for wholesomeness is “no visible feces.”‘