Chicken

Top regulatory officials in Trump’s government keep chanting the same one-word mantra: “Deregulate… Deregulate… Deregulate…” Day after day, these agency bosses have been “liberating” greedy business interests to do their damnedest to us consumers, workers, the environment… and even to our chicken dinner.

Yes chicken. Instead of Kentucky-fried or tacos con pollo, they’re serving up “Chicken á la Avian Leukosis.” That’s chicken infected with a virus that produces cancerous tumors and lesions on the birds. In July, the U.S. Agriculture Department’s Food Safety and Inspection Service rubber stamped a demand by Tyson Foods and other multibillion-dollar meat conglomerates to deregulate chicken processing rules so they can sell chickens diseased with Avian Leukosis for human consumption. And, no, the huge brand-name marketers would not even be “burdened” by having to put a right-to-know label on the package so we consumers could know what we’re buying.

As always, the industry line is: “It’s perfectly safe… trust us!” Uh… no. Their claim is that slaughterhouse line workers can simply cut out any tumors they see, then process the rest of the animal. There are two problems with this claim: First, Avian Leukosis can be a systemic disease passing through the blood, so slicing tumors doesn’t necessarily eliminate the virus. Second, line workers don’t have time to see tumors, much less remove them, since Trump’s corporate-hugging regulators have also allowed poultry factories to speed up their processing lines to 175 birds per minute. This means each worker handles up to three chickens a second.

Trump & Co. assert that their policy of relentless deregulation is necessary to make the system fair for corporations. However, as Lyndon Johnson used to say about such political hokum, “They can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s#!t.” To learn more, go to Food & Water Watch: FoodAndWaterWatch.org.

And... because Trump has packed his cabinet with corporate lobbyists who are skilled at trying to rig our government to serve moneyed elites, now these special interests are our government, setting and running America’s economic, environmental, health and other public policies. 

Check out Andrew Wheeler, head of Trump’s EPA. He had been the top lobbyist for a coal mining giant, constantly fighting environmental rules to make this notoriously foul industry clean up its act. Now, the befoulers’ lobbyist is making the rules, allowing Big Coal and other fossil fuel giants to pour more toxic contaminants into our air and water.

Wheeler wails that his poor, multibillion-dollar former clients must be freed from “burdensome” requirements to limit the damage they do to the health of America’s people and our planet. His latest edict frees oil and gas corporations from having to fix methane leaks in their wells, pipelines, etc. Fixing leaks is burdensome?

Not only is methane a potent greenhouse gas causing climate change, but Wheeler’s don’t-worry-about-it favor to his industry buddies comes just as scientists have discovered that methane leaks are two to three times worse than his EPA has been reporting. This means the industry is driving us toward a climate crisis faster than anyone realized.

The Trumpeteers have turned government totally bassackwards, protecting polluters from the people, rather than vice versa.