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‘A recipe for disaster’: Trump’s USDA faces a legal backlash for seeking to weaken pork industry health inspections

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A lawsuit filed Monday against President Donald Trump’s loosening of regulations in pork inspection plants aims to stop the rules from taking effect to protect consumers from illness and death.

The suit, which targets Trump’s New Swine Inspection System (NSIS), was filed by Food & Water Watch, the Center for Food Safety, and two supporting members.

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“There is no gray area here,” said Food & Water Watch senior staff attorney Zach Corrigan in a statement. “The new rules curtail the ability of federal inspectors to detect serious food-safety problems and expose those who consume such pork products to serious health threats like salmonella.”

According to a press release from the two groups, the new Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules are “a draconian reversal to the swine slaughter inspection system that has existed in the United States since 1906.”

“We’re suing the crap out of USDA for… feeding us crap,” tweeted Food & Water Watch communications manager Jackie Filson.

https://twitter.com/JackieFilson/status/1216816679570812928

Under the new regulations put forth by the Trump administration, federal inspectors are no longer responsible for examining the animals before and after slaughter and will see a reduced role on the line.

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According to Food & Water Watch:

The new rules prevent such inspection and hand over these responsibilities to the slaughter companies themselves. They also surrender federal control over removing contamination from carcasses to slaughter companies without any minimum training requirements for slaughter-plant employees.

“Reducing the number of trained federal inspectors and increasing line speeds is a recipe for disaster,” Center for Food Safety staff attorney Ryan Talbott said in a statement.

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“USDA has an obligation to protect the health and welfare of consumers,” added Talbott. “USDA cannot do that when it takes a back seat and lets the slaughter plants largely regulate themselves.”


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‘People’s lives will be lost’: Psychiatrist warns ‘sociopath’ Trump is ‘getting worse’ — and failing in coronavirus response

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President Donald Trump's psychological problems are getting worse and could be consequential as America faces a potential COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell on Thursday interviewed Dr. Lance Dodes, a former assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

"As you pointed out, Lawrence, this man is about himself. He really is not about the country, he's not about public health," Dr. Dodes said of Trump.

"Although he has already severely damaged the country by being a psychopath or sociopath -- in many ways, he's damaged democracy -- I think people's lives will be lost now," he warned. "Individual lives will be lost because of the way he's mishandling the coronavirus issue."

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2020 Election

‘Something really rotten’: Here’s the evidence of extensive voter suppression in Georgia’s notorious 2018 election

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As the 2020 presidential campaign cycle grinds on, there’s renewed concern about the 21st century’s newest form of warfare: cyber-sabotage of government systems, including elections and online disinformation intended to incite unrest. But as Suppressed: The Fight to Vote, a documentary from Brave New Films, makes clear, partisan voter suppression tactics with 20th-century roots remain and can thwart multitudes of voters from changing their state’s political leaders.

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The real story behind Trump’s new lawsuit against the New York Times

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Wednesday was an ominous day for freedom of the press in this country, and I want to tell you why.

You may have heard or seen that President Trump filed a libel suit against the New York Times. Perhaps you weren’t surprised: the president is known to frequently disparage the Times even as he reads it obsessively. Borrowing a page from what I’ve referred to before as a Mount Rushmore of totalitarians, Robespierre, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Trump loves to call the press the “enemy of the people.”

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