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 a la Avian Leukosis.” That’s chicken infected with a virus that produces cancerous tumors and lesions on the birds. In July, the US 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!

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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.

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