More than 150,000 signatures collected opposing USDA cost-cutting plan
WASHINGTON, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Consumer watchdogs, concerned citizens and federal food inspectors represented by the American Federation of Government Employees will deliver more than 150,000 petitions to the U.S. Department of Agriculture opposing proposed changes to the poultry inspections process that will impact the health and safety of the American public.
The groups will gather outside the USDA headquarters at 11:30 a.m. Friday, April 20, to hand-deliver the petitions. Participants will make brief remarks before delivering the petitions and will be available for on-site interviews.
The petitions, which were circulated by numerous groups, denounce a regulation proposed by Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service that would partially privatize the poultry inspections process and drastically increase the number of birds federal inspectors must examine.
"Budget cuts are driving the USDA to take this drastic step, which would reduce our highly trained teams of federal food safety inspectors to a skeleton crew who would have to review three birds every second – a humanly impossible task," AFGE National President John Gage said. "This is a recipe for putting diseased chickens right on our kitchen tables, and we are urging the USDA to reconsider this foolish and dangerous proposal."
More information on the issue is available at www.LetThemEatChicken.com.
What: Gathering to hand-deliver petitions opposing proposed changes to poultry inspections process
When: 11:30 a.m. to noon Friday, April 20
Where: Jefferson Drive SW in front of the Agriculture Department building's visitor's entrance
Who: Food Safety and Inspections Service employees; members of the American Federation of Government Employees, Food & Water Watch, Daily Kos, American Rights at Work, AFL-CIO; other concerned citizens
The American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) is the largest federal employee union, representing 625,000 workers in the federal government and the government of the District of Columbia.
SOURCE American Federation of Government Employees