Quantcast

Trump's Plan to Privatize Pork Inspections Called 'a Recipe for Disaster' as Consumer Safety Groups Sue USDA

Politics
A USDA inspector with pig carcasses. Food & Water Watch

By Eoin Higgins

A lawsuit filed Monday against President Donald Trump's loosening of regulations in pork inspection plants aims to stop the rules from taking effect to protect consumers from illness and death.


Under the new regulations put forth by the Trump administration, federal inspectors are no longer responsible for examining the animals before and after slaughter and will see a reduced role on the line.

According to Food & Water Watch:

The new rules prevent such inspection and hand over these responsibilities to the slaughter companies themselves. They also surrender federal control over removing contamination from carcasses to slaughter companies without any minimum training requirements for slaughter-plant employees.

"Reducing the number of trained federal inspectors and increasing line speeds is a recipe for disaster," Center for Food Safety staff attorney Ryan Talbott said in a statement.

"USDA has an obligation to protect the health and welfare of consumers," added Talbott. "USDA cannot do that when it takes a back seat and lets the slaughter plants largely regulate themselves."

The suit, which targets Trump's New Swine Inspection System (NSIS), was filed by Food & Water Watch, the Center for Food Safety and two supporting members.

"There is no gray area here," said Food & Water Watch senior staff attorney Zach Corrigan in a statement. "The new rules curtail the ability of federal inspectors to detect serious food-safety problems and expose those who consume such pork products to serious health threats like salmonella."

According to a press release from the two groups, the new Department of Agriculture (USDA) rules are "a draconian reversal to the swine slaughter inspection system that has existed in the United States since 1906."

"We're suing the crap out of USDA for ... feeding us crap," tweeted Food & Water Watch communications manager Jackie Filson.

Under the new regulations put forth by the Trump administration, federal inspectors are no longer responsible for examining the animals before and after slaughter and will see a reduced role on the line.

According to Food & Water Watch:

The new rules prevent such inspection and hand over these responsibilities to the slaughter companies themselves. They also surrender federal control over removing contamination from carcasses to slaughter companies without any minimum training requirements for slaughter-plant employees.

"Reducing the number of trained federal inspectors and increasing line speeds is a recipe for disaster," Center for Food Safety staff attorney Ryan Talbott said in a statement.

"USDA has an obligation to protect the health and welfare of consumers," added Talbott. "USDA cannot do that when it takes a back seat and lets the slaughter plants largely regulate themselves."

Reposted with permission from Common Dreams.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

U.S. Secretary of the Treasure Steven Mnuchin arrives for a welcome dinner at the Murabba Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Feb. 22, 2020 during the G20 finance ministers and central bank governors meeting. FAYEZ NURELDINE / AFP via Getty Images

Finance ministers from the 20 largest economies agreed to add a scant mention of the climate crisis in its final communiqué in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, but they stopped short of calling it a major economic risk, as Reuters reported. It was the first time the G20 has mentioned the climate crisis in its final communiqué since Donald Trump became president in 2017.

Read More
Aerial view of Parque da Cachoeira, which suffered the January 2019 dam collapse, in Brumadinho, state of Minas Gerais, Brazil — one of the country's worst industrial accidents that left 270 people dead. Millions of tons of toxic mining waste engulfed houses, farms and waterways, devastating the mineral-rich region. DOUGLAS MAGNO / AFP / Getty Images

By Christopher Sergeant, Julian D. Olden

Scars from large mining operations are permanently etched across the landscapes of the world. The environmental damage and human health hazards that these activities create may be both severe and irreversible.

Read More
Sponsored
Participants of the climate demonstration Fridays for Future walk through Hamburg, Germany on Feb. 21, 2020. Axel Heimken / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Andrea Germanos

U.S.-based youth climate activists on Friday drew attention to the climate protest in Hamburg, Germany, where organizers said roughly 60,000 people took part, and hoped that Americans took inspiration from their European counterparts.

Read More
Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) surfacing, showing the remains of a blow and its mottled appearance near South Georgia Island in the Polar Regions. Mick Baines & Maren / Getty Images

The largest animal on Earth is proving that wildlife protections work.

Read More
A pipeline that ruptured in Mississippi Saturday, forcing hundreds to evacuate. Yazoo County Emergency Management Agency

More than 300 people were forced to evacuate and 46 were sent to the hospital after a gas pipeline ruptured in Mississippi Saturday.

Read More