This past January, I and two other food advocates, Barbara Kowalcyk and Nancy Huehnergarth, launched a Change.org petition seeking to keep Chinese-processed chicken out of school lunch programs and to prevent the eventual importation of Chinese-raised and slaughtered chicken into this country, due to our concerns over China’s very poor food safety record.
Astoundingly, that petition has already garnered almost 315,000 signatures! (To put this figure in perspective, my successful 2012 Change.org petition regarding lean, finely textured beef, aka “pink slime,” had around 225,000 signatures when USDA took action, and I closed the petition at around 259,000 signatures.) But despite the clear public support for this cause — even with little media attention devoted to it — the governmental officials we’re petitioning have yet to respond at all.
That’s unacceptable. So next week, Nancy, Barbara and I will be heading to Washington, D.C. to participate in a press conference and congressional briefing on April 8th to better inform the media and Congress about the serious food safety concerns related to Chinese chicken, and to increase the pressure on the petitioned parties to take action.
I’m excited about this opportunity (and nervous!) but we need your help to make a really powerful impact next week. Here’s what you can do:
- For those of you who have already signed and shared our petition — thank you! If you haven’t done that, please take just a moment to do so. It’s important that we have the highest possible signature count by April 8th.
- If you’re a Twitter user, please click this link to automatically create a tweet addressed to the four congressional representatives on the Agricultural Appropriations subcommittee named in our petition. If enough people send this tweet, we’ll definitely get their attention!
- And finally, it would be great if you’d take a moment to call or email your own representatives in Congress and tell them your concerns about the safety of Chinese-processed and slaughtered chicken. To find out the names, phone numbers and emails of your representatives just enter your zip code in this link. Feel free to use any of the language in our petition to help formulate your thoughts.
Thank you in advance for your support, and I’ll of course let you know how our briefing goes in D.C. next week!
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