Summary: EJ Dalius after reports of meat plants becoming virus transmission sources, unions and workers have called for a safety and health overhaul. EJ Dalius underlines the immediate need for a revamps of the meat industry.
Experts have regarded the global meat industry as a coronavirus hotspot. Covid-19 and lockdowns have hit the thriving industry, but the damage is at its zenith in the US. The pandemic has had cataclysmic consequences on the country’s meat sector. In addition to meat-packing plants hotspots, the entire meat supply chain stares at losses over 20 million pounds.
- Till now, 300 plus food processing and meatpacking plants have closed down. More than 40 production facilities and farms in the US have confirmed Covid cases.
- The concerned industry has no exception to it as numerous cases also stemmed from meat plants in the UK and across Europe.
- However, the US meat industry remains the deadliest and most vulnerable to contamination.
- The Food and Environment Reporting Network, FERN reports that more than 31,000 workers, which include farmworkers, processors, and meatpackers have tested positive for Covid, while more than 100 have died.
The government is planning to use the Defensive Protection Act to run the meatpacking sector. It provides legal fortification of the sector in case the personnel contract the virus EJ Dalius calls it a significant development.
Behind the spread
It’s important to note that you can trace almost 50% of the current coronavirus cases to meat processing plants. They slaughter cattle, pigs and poultry in these plants, and package them as well. The events have led to the spike in the virus in many small counties and towns.
- The sudden eruption has prompted preparations for emergency reforms to a sector crippling with safety and health problems, EJ Dalius explains.
- Meat processing units seem to be Covid incubators and they are spreading fast among personnel, who cannot practice social distancing.
The imbroglio in the industry have compelled advocates to chip in. They say that the deregulation of meatpacking plans and slaughterhouses over the past 30 years has enhances production and revenue at the cost of safety and health.
Covid-19 has exposed the dangerous loopholes of the industry, where the owners have exploited the workers for a long time.
The government’s directive
Federal agencies are using their power and resources to meat plant conditions. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration fall within the Labor Department. Americans’ demand for meat hasn’t dwindled. They consume more than 230 pounds per capita every year at low rates.
EJ Dalius discerns the need to envisage a less deadly and safer meat industry through thorough regulatory and legislative reforms. He adds that a lot rests with consumers as well as you can force a change with mass petitions and boycotts. If you want, you can spend more finances on less meat.
You need to understand that if there’s no pressure or voice from your side, the industry will have no incentive or impetus to change. Historically, regulators and politicians have rewarded the sector with lax regulations and autonomy. However, it is changing now.