Author Archive

Michael Grabell

Oversight

The Plot to Keep Meatpacking Plants Open During COVID-19

Newly released documents reveal that the meatpacking industry’s callousness toward the health of its workers and its influence over the Trump administration were far greater than previously known.

Oversight

The Low-and-Slow Approach to Food Safety Reform Keeps Going Up in Smoke

The U.S. has one agency that regulates cheese pizza and another that oversees pepperoni pizza. Efforts to fix the food safety system have stalled again and again.

Oversight

America’s Food Safety System Failed to Stop a Salmonella Epidemic. It’s Still Making People Sick.

For years, a dangerous salmonella strain has sickened thousands and continues to spread through the chicken industry. The USDA knows about it. So do the companies. And yet, contaminated meat continues to be sold to consumers.

Oversight

After Hundreds of Meatpacking Workers Died From COVID-19, Congress Wants Answers

A key House subcommittee cited reports by ProPublica and other news outlets in launching an investigation into how the country’s meatpacking companies handled the pandemic, which has killed hundreds of workers to date.

Oversight

Emails Show the Meatpacking Industry Drafted an Executive Order to Keep Plants Open

Hundreds of emails offer a rare look at the meat industry’s influence and access to the highest levels of government. The draft was submitted a week before Trump’s executive order, which bore striking similarities.

Oversight

Meatpacking Companies Dismissed Years of Warnings but Now Say Nobody Could Have Prepared for COVID-19

In documents dating to 2006, government officials predicted that a pandemic would threaten critical businesses and warned them to prepare. Meatpacking companies largely ignored them, and now nearly every one of the predictions has come true.

Oversight

They Warned OSHA They Were in 'Imminent Danger' at the Meat Plant. Now They’re Suing the Agency.

The suit by workers at Maid-Rite Speciality Foods in Pennsylvania employs a rarely used legal tool and is the latest in a growing chorus of complaints about how the federal agency charged with protecting workers has responded to COVID-19.

Workforce

Millions of Essential Workers Are Being Left Out of COVID-19 Workplace Safety Protections, Thanks to OSHA

Even as the federal worker-safety agency has been inundated with complaints, it has rolled back safety standards and virtually eliminated non-health care workplaces from government protection.

Management

Agency Policing Tent City for Immigrant Kids Lacks Experience Investigating Sex Crimes Involving Children

The Federal Protective Service, which primarily secures federal buildings, has been charged with responding to incidents at the shelter with 2,800 immigrant children in Tornillo, Texas.