Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Deadly Canadian Chicken

Is Canadian chicken safe?  Seems like a simple question, but there is a huge debate about the correct answer to that simple question.

Better Farming posted a story in June 2014 on the increasing market share of chicken, consumer's desire to buy Canadian chicken, and the affordable chicken prices.  I found that posting recently, and added some comments about "affordable chicken" being #ChickenMafia propaganda.  An anonymous poster questioned my concerns about retail chicken prices, as they felt that CFO doesn't control retail prices.  I responded and again with some facts, trying to show that CFO had absolute power to ensure affordable chicken if they chose to exercise that power. Stephen Thompson jumped into the conversation in support of my position that Supply Management ("SM") regularly takes advantage of the Canadian consumer. I decided to add some objective evidence previously researched for this Blog on the unaffordability of chicken in Canada when compared to LICO (Low Income Cut-off poverty level) and Ontario's Minimum Wage. An anonymous poster complained about the use of minimum wage.  I responded with justification of the use of Minimum Wage as a benchmark, and reminded people that the unaffordable and poor quality chicken in Canada was causing or contributing to Canadians are dying every day.  Of course, those statements were jumped and resisted here and here, supported hereResponding to the Cost of Production ("COP") issue, I shared the secrecy that CFO uses for setting the farm gate price for chicken.  Raube Beuerman reminds the previous poster that the issue was chicken feed costs, not all costs nor all animals.  Then, the worm on the hook is dropped into the stream of questions, asking for me to justify my statement that poor quality, high priced chicken was causing and/or contributing to deaths in Canada.

With all these postings, it's a wonder any farming is getting done in Canada.

Having had the door opened, I shared the source of the disease and death from Canadian chicken.  I told them about the 4 million cases of foodborne illness in Canada, the chronic contamination of chicken with deadly pathogens, the chemical soup that is fed to the chickens so as to reduce the risk and costs of the #ChickenMafia, and the Frankenstein meat that results, with high Omega-6:Omega-3 ratios worse than slow grow and pastured poultry.

Stephen Thompson replied  that there was only weak, circumstantial, or no proven relation between Canadian chicken and disease or death.

In response to Stephen's doubt about cause-effect for deaths from Canadian chicken, I supplied the following (the central theme of this Blog posting):
The cause-effect data for Canada is not readily available at this time. CFIA has started  a Pathogen Reduction Initiative (PRI) for chicken, and is studying the baseline contamination level.
This Canadian program started in 2012, and follows the same format as what the USDA completed in 2008.  The USDA study showed a major problem for raw chicken, mainly from salmonella and campylobacter.  Unfortunately, Canada is 4 yrs behind times.

CDC estimates that 22% of all foodborne illness and 29% of foodborne deaths come from contaminated meats.

Chicken is chronically contaminated, while pork and beef are usually periodically contaminated.

CDC estimates that poultry caused somewhere between 5% to 20.6% of all foodborne illnesses in the USA between 1998 to 2008 (see Table 3 ).  That analysis is based on 4,589 illnesses during that period.

Poultry is blamed for 9.8% of all foodborne outbreaks and illnesses, 11.5% of all foodborne illnesses that required hospitalizations, and 19.1% of all foodborne diseases that resulted in death.

Until Canada catches up on solving the lousy Canadian chicken issue, I suggest that these US percentages are applicable for Canada, until proven otherwise.  Do you agree?  If not, why not?

Do you still insist that my previous posting was "overly dramatic"?

Is my previous posting so easily dismissed as exaggeration and hyperbole?

If you base your opinion on other data that conflicts with this data, please provide the links and explain further so we can all better understand the source and justification for your jaded doubts.

Have I convinced you that we have a problem with poor quality chicken in Canada?

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