DeLauro, Slaughter Oppose Swine Inspection Rule Changes
WASHINGTON, DC (January 19, 2018) — Today, Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) and Louise Slaughter (NY-25) released the following statement in opposition to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) proposed changes to swine inspection regulations. Congresswomen DeLauro and Slaughter have requested a meeting with FSIS officials to be briefed on the proposal.
“The proposed swine inspection modernization rule is another example of the administration’s unacceptable prioritization of profits over the safety of American workers and consumers,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “While I strongly support modernizing our food safety system and making it more efficient, modernization should not occur at the expense of public health, worker safety, or animal welfare. We must improve swine inspection and reduce contamination from pathogens associated with pork such as Salmonella and Campylobacter. However, FSIS has not demonstrated through its hog slaughter pilot program that contamination— and therefore illness rates—are actually reduced. To the contrary, the available evidence suggests that these changes will undermine food safety.”
“USDA’s proposal allows corporations to determine their own line speeds and fails to mandate proper training despite a history of poor internal audits, serious concerns raised by whistleblowers, as well as, on-going microbial contamination and worker safety issues,” said Congresswoman Slaughter. “Fewer USDA inspectors per animal and ceding food safety oversight to the companies in question should not be the path forward. This plan casts further doubts on our government’s commitment to food safety.”
DeLauro chairs the House Food Safety Caucus and is a senior member on the Appropriations subcommittee responsible for funding the USDA. Slaughter is the Ranking Member on the Rules Committee and the only microbiologist in Congress.