USDA increases chemicals in poultry processing

What's in your chicken?

If you answered "chicken," you're only partially right -- because supermarket chicken is loaded with untested toxic chemicals that aren't listed on the label.

And it's about to get worse.

After slaughter, chickens are routinely sprayed and soaked FOUR TIMES with toxic chemicals such as chlorine and peracetic acid. This is supposed to clean them of poop, filth, guts, grime, and bacteria -- but "clean" is a relative term when the birds go whizzing by on the assembly line at 140 a minute.

Yes, 140 birds a minute. These plants must look like something out of a "Saw" movie for chickens.

But like I said, this is getting worse -- because proposed new USDA rules would allow more birds to pass through at higher speeds, getting sprayed by even more toxic chemicals.

And to top it all off, there would be even fewer USDA inspections of these filthy operations.

The industry claims the birds will all be safe, because the chemicals will keep them clean of salmonella and filthy fecal germs no matter how fast they breeze through the line.

But even if that's true -- and I doubt it is -- that doesn't mean the chemicals themselves are safe.

Don't ask the USDA -- they don't know and don't care. They say that's the FDA's job.

And the FDA says don't worry -- they KNOW the chemicals are safe. Not because they've conducted tests (they haven't), but because the companies that make the chemicals have said they're safe.

What could possibly go wrong?

Here's what we do know: Factory workers who deal with the chemicals are getting sick at an alarming rate with everything from respiratory ailments to burns, rashes, and sinus ulcers.

There's even been at least one death attributed to poultry chemicals.

(Unfortunately, so-called cleaning chemicals are far from the only thing you could find hidden in your chicken dinner. To get the whole disturbing scoop read this.)

I'd like to say you can avoid these chemicals by eating organic birds, but even that's not clear at this point -- so do yourself and your family a favor: Buy chickens from small local operations where you can actually ask how they're prepared.

And if you don't like the answer... don't eat it.