Meat/Poultry Inspection

CFA Opposes USDA Proposal to Rescind Rules Against Selling Meat from Cancer-Ridden Chickens

CFA submitted the following comments in response to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service’s proposed rule to rescind several regulations related to the inspection and condemnation of poultry carcasses affected with avian leukosis complex. As the comments explain, the proposed rule establishes a disturbing precedent regarding when disease renders poultry “unsound or otherwise unfit for human food,” and also raises food safety concerns. Even if cancerous chicken meat poses no direct danger to human health, chickens suffering from avian leukosis are more likely to carry high loads of foodborne pathogens like Salmonella and Campylobacter.

CFA comments urge USDA’s FSIS to consider more fully the food safety implications of the proposed deregulation, and at the very least, to require supplier verification from processors that forego inspection for avian leukosis to demonstrate that precautions such as vaccines and biosecurity measures have been taken to prevent the occurrence of the disease.