Physician group that advocates plant-based diets urges Carney to close poultry plants

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A Washington, D.C. -based group is calling for Gov. John Carney to “close all slaughterhouses” (chicken processing plants) in Delaware.

Physicians Committeefor Responsible Medicine sent letters to Carney and the state’s other 49 governors calling for the closings.

The group, advocates plant-based diets and sees meat as the source of many health problems, plans to hold a rally on Friday in Dover.

Physicians Committeefor Responsible Medicinecited figures from the Food and Environment Reporting Network, which says at least15,525workershave tested positive for COVID-19 with 60 workers dying from the virus.

The group claimed thatmore than half of the 300 workers tested in just one Sussex County plant were found to be positive for the virus.Sussex County has about 3,000 coronavirus cases. The State of Delaware has not released any figures regarding the number of poultry plant workers testing positive.

Food processing plants have been declared essential businesses under emergency orders issued by Carney. President Trump went on to sign an executive action that ordered meatpacking plants to stay open.

“Reports of plant worker’s deaths are piling up with over 15,000 workers having become infected with COVID-19,” says the group’s spokesperson, Karen Smith. “Keeping Delaware meat plants open is harming the health of workers, the surrounding community, and consumers.”
“Plant workers who are asymptomatic may still be viral carriers,” says Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine- a group with more than 12,000 physician members. “Because these workers directly handle meat and poultry products, and because the COVID-19 virus is easily airborne, transmission of the virus to the products they handle is likely, which means transmission of the virus into people’s homes is likely.”
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