Ky. health officials suggest revisions to food producer fee proposal after blowback

Kentucky health officials are suggesting revisions to a proposed regulation that would have dramatically increased food safety inspection fees for some small food producers.

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Justice

After 200 meat plant workers die of COVID-19, OSHA issues two fines

Two plants were fined a total of about $29,000 — an amount critics say is so small that it won’t serve as an incentive for the nation’s meatpackers to protect their workers.
www.politico.com
Justice

Harvest of shame: Farmworkers face coronavirus disaster

Agricultural counties across the U.S. face high rates of COVID-19, a POLITICO analysis reveals.

investigatemidwest.org
Toxics

Arkansas poultry plants are struggling with COVID-19. Hispanic workers are facing the worst of it

Maria Romero’s mother is among at least 4,627 Arkansas poultry workers to have been infected by COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. More than half of them, like Romero’s mother, are Hispanic.
civileats.com
Justice

USDA seeks to permanently speed up poultry plant line speeds

Food safety advocates say the move, despite COVID-19 risks and longstanding worker safety concerns, is due to industry influence at the agency.
investigatemidwest.org
Toxics

New pesticide regulations would fix "broken and outdated" system at the EPA, sponsors say

Called the Protect America's Children from Toxic Pesticides Act of 2020, the bill provides a framework for fixing what sponsors Sen. Tom Udall (D-New Mexico) and Rep. Joe Neguse (D-Colorado) dub America's "broken and outdated" pesticide regulatory system.

Toxics

Why is the U.K. panicking over chlorinated chicken?

Spraying chicken with chlorine is a quick fix for poor hygiene standards in U.S. agriculture. But as Britain looks to a trade deal with the U.S. to replace the EU, its consumers are wary of lax standards—especially the chickens.
www.propublica.org
Justice

Meatpacking companies dismissed years of warnings but now say nobody could have prepared for COVID-19

In documents dating to 2006, government officials warned them to prepare. Meatpacking companies largely ignored them, and now nearly every one of the predictions has come true.

www.nytimes.com
Toxics

Salmonella cases linked to onions increase to nearly 900

Grocery chains, including Publix and Giant Eagle, have recalled onions supplied by Thomson International and products that may contain the onions.
Justice

Meatpacking workers file lawsuit against OSHA, accusing agency of failing to keep them safe

The lawsuit accuses OSHA of leaving the workers in imminent danger at the factory where they work, run by Maid-Rite Specialty Foods in Pennsylvania, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Justice

Workers groups say Tyson and JBS violated Civil Rights Act

People of color make up 87 percent of meat-processing plant covid-19 cases. Worker groups allege that is a sign of racial discrimination.
thefern.org
Justice

COVID-19 shows no sign of slowing among food-system workers

The nation is in various stages of reopening as the number of new COVID-19 cases falls in some regions. Yet among the vulnerable workers who produce our food, the pandemic is still raging.

theintercept.com
Toxics

Iowa passes third ag-gag bill targeting animal rights activists

The bill would create a new crime called “food operation trespass,” in yet another attempt to penalize activists for uncovering conditions at factory farms.
investigatemidwest.org
Toxics

Cows likely to be culprit in 2019 E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce, FDA finds

Cows in the Salinas Valley area of California have been blamed for three E. coli outbreaks in late 2019 that sickened 188 people in at least 27 states, according to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration report released in May.
thefern.org
Toxics

How did Europe avoid the COVID-19 catastrophe ravaging U.S. meatpacking plants?

Better working conditions, smaller plants and a more focused governmental response all played a role.

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Building a library of American environmental classics (Part Two)

More recommendations for your home eco-library.

Disinfection dangers: How to avoid viruses without exposing yourself to toxics

COVID-19 has all of us cleaning more—but the products designed to kill viruses and bacteria can have dangerous health impacts. Here's how to scrub safely.

Algoma Steel workers allege company had ‘full knowledge’ of exposure to lethal, cancer-causing chemicals

Employees and the union allege minimal enforcement by Ontario's Ministry of Labour is to blame for lax oversight at a plant already linked to cross-border air pollution in the region.

Solar power on the rise at US schools

Report finds an 81% increase in K-12 schools using solar power over the last 5 years.

Microplastics in farm soils: A growing concern

Researchers say that more microplastics pollution is getting into farm soil than oceans—and these tiny bits are showing up in our fruits, veggies, and bodies.

Cutting edge of science

An exclusive look at important research just over the horizon that promises to impact our health and the environment

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