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Advocacy Group Looks To Eliminate Fecal Matter In Meat With Lawsuit.

The advocacy group, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), has filed a lawsuit against the (https://www.ibtimes.com/fda-usda-approve-framework-regulating-laboratory-grown-meat-2775231) U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), claiming that it violated the Freedom of Information Act by not responding to its request for information.

In 2017, the PCRM requested that the USDA provide details on the "records regarding the number of USDA poultry inspectors, detection rates for visible fecal contamination in poultry, average poultry line speed, USDA poultry inspection rates, and inspection training."

According to the organization, the USDA violated the act by not responding to its request for information within 20 days.

The PCRM is a group of 12,000 physicians that are looking to promote plant-based diets. The organization has raised concerns about the processes that the USDA uses in its food safety inspections.

While the USDA said that it "zero tolerance policy for fecal material on meat and poultry," the PCRM disagrees, (https://www.kxan.com/news/national-news/it-s-now-legal-for-your-meat-to-have-trace-amounts-of-fecal-matter/1937238897) KXAN , an NBC affiliate in Austin reported. The organization said in its lawsuit that the current practices are not effective as they only apply to fecal matter that is "visible" during the production process.

The USDA uses inspectors to look for fecal matter on animal carcasses prior to allowing them to enter the food chain, rejecting those that are contaminated, according to the news outlet. For (https://www.ibtimes.com/pork-poultry-recall-2019-undeclared-milk-soy-allergens-prompt-recall-2781835) poultry , workers reportedly inspect up to 175 birds per minute for feces.

The PCRM has conducted its own testing on chicken, finding 48 percent of the meat was positive for fecal contamination. Feces in meat can cause (https://www.ibtimes.com/beef-recall-2019-e-coli-contamination-forces-recall-4838-pounds-meat-2780299) E. coli contamination.

The PCRM reportedly wants meat producers to place a warning for consumers on the label that would read, " may contain feces."

The lawsuit is expected not to hold up in court, but PCRM is hoping that change will come out of the process, KXAN said.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Apr 19, 2019
Words:323
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