WASHINGTON – The federal agency overseeing food inspection is imposing new rules reclassifying as safe for human consumption animal carcasses with cancers, tumors and open sores.
Federal meat inspectors and consumer groups are protesting the move to classify tumors and open sores as aesthetic problems, which permits the meat to get the government’s purple seal of approval as a wholesome food product.
“I don’t want to eat pus from a chicken that has pneumonia. I think it’s gross,” said Wenonah Hauter, director of Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy Project. “Most Americans don’t want to eat this sort of contamination in their meals.”
Delmer Jones, a federal food inspector for 41 years who lives in Renlap, Ala., said he’s so revolted by the lowering of food wholesomeness standards that he doesn’t buy meat at the supermarket anymore because he doesn’t trust that it is safe to eat.
“I eat very little to no meat, but sardines and fish,” said Jones, president of the National Joint Council of Meat Inspection Locals, a union of 7,000 meat inspectors nationwide affiliated with the American Federation of Government Employees. He said he’s trying to get his wife to stop eating meat. “I’ve told her what she’s eating.”
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