After sharply criticizing a proposal to expand the HACCP Based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) pilot to more poultry plants, Food & Water Watch is asking for unfettered access to a HIMP plant to better evaluate the idea.

chickeninspection-iphone.jpgIn a letter to the National Chicken Council and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, Tony Corbo, a lobbyist for Food & Water Watch, asked that he be permitted to work as a company sorter on a slaughter line in the HIMP program. 

“I would like for you to start making arrangements so that I may work in a HIMP plant for at least one week,” wrote Corbo. “As you know, Food & Water Watch has been especially critical of HIMP and the proposed rule to expand this inspection model to all poultry plants…We do not support the privatization of inspection. However, both FSIS and the poultry industry claim that the HIMP inspection model is superior to the on the one that is used in the non-HIMP plants.”

Corbo said he’s heard that plants often turn down the line speed for plant tours, so he requested more continuous access. He wants to work as a sorter “to get real experience.”

“Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has repeatedly observed in recent weeks that most consumers do not know how their food is produced in this country. He is correct.” wrote Corbo. “Therefore, I want to learn first-hand how poultry processed with fewer government inspectors will lead to a safer and more wholesome food supply.”

Corbo said he also wants to be able to select which plant he’s assigned and that he receive whatever training is offered to poultry inspection employees. He is also requiring “unfettered access to company employees and to FSIS inspection personnel during non-working periods to ask questions.”

When asked whether the group might grant the request, the National Chicken Council told Food Safety News: “We received Mr. Corbo’s letter and are reviewing it.”

For more on the proposed rule to expand HIMP, see: Debate Heats Up Over Poultry Inspection Proposal.

  • Not Dictated Yet

    Mr. Corbo seems to think his dreamed-of food police state has already been instituted and he has been installed as king. What an ignorant pompous jackass. The brains behind Food & Water Watch expertise in all fields, scientific and practical. I wouldn’t trust F&FW operatives to successfully change the oil in my car, much less dictate production practices to my food supply system. What a bunch of swollen-headed agenda-driven meddlers.

  • Calvin T.

    Food and Water Watch is NOT a consumer advocate. Journalists with integrity need to stop mislabeling anti-industry anti-agriculture organizations as “consumer advocates”. They are not. They are very exclusively funded professional drivers of very specialized social and political agendas. They falsely claim to represent consumers. There are about 300 million American conusmers and usually no more than about one quarter of one percent of those affiliate themselves with hateful damaging cults like Food and Water Watch. They are in no way, shape or form the voice of real American consumers.

  • BB

    Why is he asking the NCC and USDA to make arrangements for him to work in a chicken plant? If he wants a job at a HIMP plant then he needs to pick one out,fill out an application, and wait in line like everyone else. It’s pretty simple. Why should he recieve special treatment? I think it’s funny that F&WW wants to make a big deal about the new slaughter inspection proposal, but in the same breath admit that they don’t know jack about chicken plants. Everybody wants to be the hero.

  • Mr. Wilson

    No doubt Corbo wants to get into the plant, stage some embarrassing scene, film it, post it on the internet to smear the chicken business — like other skulking anti-agriculture scabs have famously done. No possible good can come from the poultry industry having anything to do with Corbo. His group has nothing constructive to contribute to our lives. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice activists like Corbo only smear and bash and attack, always cheap shots, never offer up really practical alternatives.

  • Pablo

    It will be impossible to adquire the experience of a good sorter in a few days like Mr. Corbo pretends and then come to work in the sorting station at the line speed permissible by law in a HIMP plan under normal conditions. I do not think Mr. Corbo is doing this to get a better feeling of the daily operations in a HIMP plant in order to evaluate its merits.
    He is only doing this so he can get access to the plant, get enough negative material to comment on so he can continue with his agenda. After one day at work, he will not be able to keep up with the demands of sorting carcasses. Working as a sorter is not the same as working behind a desk. If Mr. Corbo wants to visit a HIMP plant, he should be welcome to see the operations while being escorted by USDA and plant management so they can answer all the questions he might have.