The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine files petition against USDA for failing to screen meat products for COVID-19.

A pro-vegan physicians group is suing the U.S. Department of Agriculture, alleging it is “ignoring concerns” about the possibility of coronavirus spreading through meat products and packaging.

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, which says it counts more than 12,000 doctors among its members, filed suit last week. The group said it sued after the USDA denied its petition to require meat plants to test their products for coronavirus before selling them and require stores to post warnings that meat products are not “certified virus-free.”

“Plant workers who are asymptomatic may still be viral carriers,” Physicians Committee President Neal Barnard said in a statement. “Because these workers directly handle meat and poultry products, and because the COVID-19 virus is easily airborne, the transmission of the virus to the products they handle is likely, which means the transmission of the virus into people’s homes is likely.”

More than 40,000 meatpacking workers have contracted coronavirus, the Physicians Committee said, citing the Food & Environment Reporting Network.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there is “very low” risk of contracting the disease from food, treated drinking water or food packaging, and that the disease mostly spreads from person to person via respiratory droplets.

The North American Meat Institute, a trade group representing companies including Tyson Foods and Cargill, accused the Physicians Committee of spreading “misinformation.”

“PCRM has long opposed animal agriculture and is willing to use fear to spread misinformation in a pathetic attempt to accomplish their agenda,” a Meat Institute spokesperson told FOX Business in a statement. “This activist group makes claims in direct opposition to global experts at the CDC, [World Health Organization], and [Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations]. These global experts say there is no scientific evidence that COVID 19 can be transmitted by handling or consuming food.”

Original source: https://www.foxbusiness.com