Facing pressure from local health officials over conditions in their plants, meatpacking companies "drafted and pitched an executive order to the Trump White House" to keep slaughterhouses open during the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic, said a congressional staff report on Thursday. When President Trump issued an order that adopted the industry position, meatpackers exaggerated its scope.
In a ruling hailed as a victory for farm animals, the U.S. appellate court in San Francisco denied a meat industry request for an injunction against California's voter-approved Proposition 12, which guarantees more space for hogs, calves, and chickens to move about. The meat industry contends that Prop 12 and similar state laws violate the so-called commerce clause of the Constitution, though they have failed repeatedly to persuade the courts.
The Food and Drug Administration held a public meeting Thursday on the safety and labeling of alternative “meat” proteins produced with animal cell culture technology. In a packed room, FDA employees, industry stakeholders, and scientists discussed current trends in the controversial sector, which some imagine could reshape how Americans consume meat. (No paywall)
The Government Accountability Office urged federal regulators, in the words of Harvest Public Media, "to better protect meatpacking workers, who are often exposed to dangerous chemicals, not allowed bathroom breaks and refused medical treatment." The GAO report said workers sometimes decide not to report problems for fear of retaliation, making it harder for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to get a clear picture of conditions.
Pointing to a WHO agency finding that processed meat is "carcinogenic to humans," the Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned USDA to require a cancer warning label on packages of bacon, ham, hot dogs and other processed red meat and poultry. Michael Jacobson, leader of the consumer group, said chances are slim the incoming Trump administration will agree with the petition, "but at CSPI we're used to taking the long view."
A government report says the injury rate for meat industry workers has improved greatly yet injuries are more common than in the rest of the manufacturing sector, reports Harvest Public Media. "But injuries in the meat industry are also likely to be under-reported," it says.
The North American Meat Institute filed a request with the government for a 120-day comment period on the report that the Agriculture and Health departments will use as the basis for the new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The new edition of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans should encourage people to eat more fruit, vegetables, dairy and whole grains and less sugar and refined grains, says a panel of experts advising the government. In its report, the panel says half of Americans have preventable, chronic diseases and two-thirds are overweight or obese. The persistent and high level of diet-related disease "raise the urgency for immediate attention and bold action," says the panel.
Opponents of country-of-origin labels (COOL) on meat sold in grocery stores say they will focus on getting Congress to remodel the law. The foes withdrew a lawsuit against COOL rather than appeal to the Supreme Court after adverse rulings in U.S. district...
North American Meat Institute, the result of a trade group merger, said it hired Fred Thompson, as its senior vice president of legislative affairs.