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It's time for the USDA to hear from us on the poultry rule

Have a question about the USDA's proposed poultry rule (which would increase inspection line speeds to requiring poultry inspections every 1/3 of a second)? There's a chat for that. Today at 3 p.m., Dr. Elisabeth Hagen is holding virtual office hours for the agency.

Voice up on Twitter by using the hashtag #askUSDA. Let Dr. Hagen know that already, 59 percent of poultry workers develop carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive motion injuries on the job, and increasing the line speed will undoubtedly put poultry workers' safety on the line. Requiring workers to inspect 175 birds a minute is unacceptable.

National COSH joined other organizations last week in urging the USDA to withdraw the proposal. Now it's time to make your voices heard.

We'll see you today in the Twittersphere!

(Note: For those not on Twitter, you can weigh in on the poultry rule by submitting a comment to the USDA or by sending a letter to the editor to your local newspaper.)

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Want ideas for sample tweets for today's virtual office hours on the USDA's proposed poultry rule? Here are just a few. Use them as guidance and write your own, if you're feeling so inspired!

In 1/3 of a second, I can pat my head. But I can’t inspect a chicken. @USDA @USDAFoodSafety #PoultryRule http://bit.ly/OJ7oYj

If 59% of poultry inspectors currently show signs of carpal tunnel, why do you want to increase line speeds five times? @USDA #askUSDA @PoultryRule http://bit.ly/OJ7oYj

Would you respond to this former inspector’s concern that the HIMP program is being implemented without preparation? @USDA #askUSDA #PoultryRule http://bit.ly/QvCB5I

In 1/3 of a second, I can squirt one spray of soap into my hand. But I can’t inspect a chicken. @USDA @USDAFoodSafety #PoultryRule http://bit.ly/OJ7oYj

In 1/3 of a second, I can push an elevator button. But I can’t inspect a chicken. @USDA @USDAFoodSafety #PoultryRule http://bit.ly/OJ7oYj

Why did @USDAFoodSafety develop the HIMP rule with no public meetings and limited public input? @USDA #PoultryRule #askUSDA http://bit.ly/T8E5G7

Do you really believe that 1/3 of a second is enough time to inspect a chicken? @USDA #askUSDA #PoultryRule http://bit.ly/T8E5G7

Do recent outbreaks of Salmonella make you question whether poultry plants should get to choose to test for it or not? @USDA #askUSDA #PoultryRule http://bit.ly/T8E5G7

Would you wait for the results of the NIOSH study on HIMP before implementing it? @USDA #askUSDA #PoultryRule http://bit.ly/T8E5G7