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DeLauro Condemns Trump Administration’s Deregulation of Hog Slaughter

September 17, 2019
Press Release

DeLauro: “Who actually believes these changes will make our food more safe?”

WASHINGTON, DC (September 17, 2019) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today released the following statement after the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a final rule to deregulate hog slaughter inspections.

“With today’s announcement, the Trump Administration has prioritized corporate, multinational meat processors’ interests over those of the American people and their families. Make no mistake: this is all about corporate profit, not food safety concerns. Under the guise of ‘modernizing’ hog slaughter inspections, the Trump Administration will replace government inspectors with industry employees and allow for unlimited line speeds. Who actually believes these changes will make our food more safe? Food safety advocates certainly do not believe that. But industry lobbyists have a stranglehold on USDA, and they are rushing to implement these changes despite a flawed risk assessment analysis—which is currently the subject of an active OIG audit.”

“The Trump Administration needs to step back and reevaluate their priorities. Putting our food safety system at further risk will endanger people’s lives. No amount of additional corporate profit is worth that. I urge USDA to reverse course.”

According to 3 out of 5 independent peer reviewers of USDA’s Risk Assessment, the experimental design for the plan was fundamentally flawed. Following the peer review, DeLauro and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) requested that USDA Inspector General broaden its ongoing review of the agency’s proposed Swine Slaughter Inspection Rule as it relates to worker safety to include food safety and animal welfare concerns.

In June, DeLauro worked with Congressman David Price (NC-04) to amend the House Agricultural Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2020 to prevent USDA from implementing the rule until OIG audited the underlying data and methods used to craft the rule. That amendment was adopted and included in the House-passed bill.

DeLauro serves as Vice-Chair of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, which is responsible for funding the USDA. She also serves as Chair of the Congressional Food Safety Caucus.