USDA Releases Final Rule to Privatize Poultry Inspection

This post originally appeared on EcoWatch.

This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released theáfinal rule on a new inspection system for poultry products. The system will transfer a majority of poultry inspections from government inspectors to self-policing by the companies themselves.

While Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said the new system “places our trained inspectors where they can better ensure food is being processed safely,”áFood & Water Watch Executive DirectoráWenonah Hauter counters that “the one USDA inspector left on the slaughter line under this new rule will still have to inspect 2.33 birds every secondľan impossible task that leaves consumers at risk.”

The new regulations were first proposed in January 2012 but delayed after receiving strong opposition from animal welfare groups, consumer organizations and worker safety advocates. In 2013 the Government Accountability Office released aáscathing analysis, questioning whether USDA had sufficient data to make such radical changes.

USDA received more than 175,000 public comments, mostly opposed to the proposal. There have also been petitions andáseveral congressional letters sent to USDA and the White Houseáurging the withdrawal of the rule.

“The fast turnaround on this rule does a disservice to consumers and workers in poultry plants,” said Hauter. “Rather than making the contents of a revised rule public and creating a new comment period, the USDA and the White House are making a dramatic change to how poultry is inspected based on incomplete data and limited public review.”

Groups express concern that the deregulation of poultry processing will lead to theádismantling of the meat inspection system as we know.

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

157 comments

Jerome S
Jerome S16 days ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S16 days ago

thanks

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven16 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven16 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

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Joseph Glackin
Joseph Glackin2 years ago

HEN HOUSE!

mea typo.

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Joseph Glackin
Joseph Glackin2 years ago

So now the fox watches the he house?

What could POSSIBLY GO WRONG?

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Jim Ven
Jim Ven2 years ago

thanks for the article.

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Anne P.
Anne P3 years ago

Folks, this is really bad. Industry policing itself? Yeah, sure (rolling eyes). We've seen how well that works. And let's not forget the poor chickens who will be more tortured and abused than ever. Boycott the whole ugly system and adopt an organic plant-based diet. It's the only way to protect yourself and your family. There is power in your fork - use it!

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Angela Roquemore
Angela Roquemore3 years ago

Dale O.: You can't.

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