Trump’s loosening of pork inspection regulations fails to protect consumers from illness and death new lawsuit claims

"Food safety is one of the most important protections in our country and gifting the slaughter industry self-regulation powers will mean pork eaters in this country will be facing higher threats of disease.”

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Looser regulations in pork inspection plants could put consumers’ health in risk. A lawsuit was filed by Food & Water Watch, the Center for Food Safety, and two supporting members against the Trump administration’s New Swine Inspection System.

Under current federal law, meat inspectors are required to critically “examine each and every animal for conditions (as dangerous as septicemia and salmonella) before and after slaughter,” a press release stated. The Department of Agriculture’s New Swine Inspection System (NSIS) would loosen this regulation and instead, “hand over these responsibilities to the slaughter companies themselves.” NSIS will also end limits on slaughter-line speeds, which were put into place to prevent foodborne illnesses and protect against hospitalizations and deaths.

“They also surrender federal control over removing contamination from carcasses to slaughter companies without any minimum training requirements for slaughter-plant employees.”

Food and Water Watch said the new rules are “a draconian reversal to the swine slaughter inspection system that has existed in the United States since 1906,” a press release stated.

Contrary to the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the lawsuit demands NSIS rules be “permanently stopped.”

“There is no gray area here,” Zach Corrigan, Senior Staff Attorney, Food & Water Watch, said. “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. It’s easy to read between the lines with these new rules: the USDA is letting the wolf guard the hog-house. Food safety is one of the most important protections in our country and gifting the slaughter industry self-regulation powers will mean pork eaters in this country will be facing higher threats of disease.”

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