The coronavirus outbreaks in the meat plants – with 1,400 cases in the Rheda-Wiedenbrück factory alone, combined with lockdowns this week in the regions surrounding the towns of Guterslöh and Warendorf – is forcing us not only to address the question as to why the virus is able to spread so quickly in slaughterhouses. It is also shining the spotlight on the industry as a whole: What actually goes on in the meatpacking industry? What conditions are workers forced to endure? And is it worth it for a couple slices of ham on your breakfast sandwich?
The move could for the first time cut the U.S. government out of the development of the seasonal influenza vaccine for the Southern Hemisphere, a process coordinated by the WHO in partnership with the United States. And the withdrawal from the WHO could impede access to an eventual COVID-19 vaccine if it is created overseas, current and former officials said. Leaving the organization could also significantly blind the U.S. to health threats in remote foreign locales that, as the pandemic has shown, have the potential to make their way to the U.S. shores. Experts also fear the impact on major initiatives to combat infectious diseases, such as a WHO-led program that is on the cusp of eradicating polio. “To do this in the middle of a pandemic is breathtakingly dangerous,” said Nancy Cox, a former CDC virologist, who for 22 years led the agency’s WHO center on influenza surveillance and control. “So I worry a lot about what’s going to happen to so many of the programs at WHO that were strongly supported financially and through expertise and consultation with the U.S. I just think it could be really bad.”
DNA tests show an increase in the number of animals with positive tests for some coronaviruses from the time they are trapped until they arrive on someone’s dinner plate.
Trump has elevated a looming standoff between America’s meat corporations that have resisted closures and labor unions who have called for increased safety measures, followed by shutdowns, to stop the virus’s spread. “We only wish that this administration cared as much about the lives of working people as it does about meat, pork and poultry products,” Stuart Appelbaum, president of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union
The US government is accelerating controversial regulatory rollbacks to speed up production at meat plants, as companies express growing alarm at the impact of Covid-19 on their operations. Last week Smithfield shut down one of the largest pork plants in the country after hundreds of employees contracted the coronavirus. The plant in South Dakota – whose output represents 4–5% of US pork production – is reported to be the largest single-source coronavirus hotspot in the US, with more than 600 cases. In response, the company said it was “critical” for the meat industry to “continue to operate unabated”.
Xi calls on government and military chiefs to work to overcome the epidemic.
— Read on www.scmp.com/news/china/politics/article/3051988/coronavirus-chinas-fastest-spreading-public-health-crisis
When Biden argues that once Trump is defeated and out of the picture, Republicans will be reasonable again, and bipartisan governance will become possible, Biden is displaying a potentially catastrophic strategic misunderstanding of what the Republican Party has become. The electoral power of the Republican Party now rests solely on a foundation that has been radicalized and misled by nearly a half-century of “feeding red meat to the base”: stoking an ever more intense hatred of “the other,” beginning with Reagan’s imaginary welfare queens driving Cadillacs.
Tip Top Poultry, Inc., a Rockmart, Ga. establishment, is recalling approximately 135,810 pounds of fully cooked poultry products that may be adulterated with Listeria monocytogenes.
Perdue Foods, LLC, a Perry, Ga. establishment, is recalling approximately 68,244 pounds of ready-to-eat chicken nugget products that may be contaminated with extraneous materials, specifically wood.
WASHINGTON, Dec. 4, 2018 – JBS Tolleson, Inc., a Tolleson, Ariz. establishment, is recalling approximately 12,093,271 pounds of non-intact raw beef products that may be contaminated with Salmonella Newport, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.