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US Plans to Cut Poultry Inspections to Speed Slaughter and Profits

The government is now finalizing the decision on whether or not a proposed U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plan for speeding and cutting the inspection of poultry should be passed. The poultry industry has been seeking these changes for years. The proposed rule would allow the speed in chicken processing to increase from 140 per minute to 175 per minute. Faster speeds reduce the extent of inspection. In addition, the number of federal inspectors in processing plants would be cut by 75 percent. In place of federal inspectors, company employees—who do not receive the same level of training or have independence—would take on inspection duties.

The proposed plan not only jeopardizes consumer health but also worker safety. With high processing speeds, the probability of accidents and worker injuries also increase. The increased speed will only make the job more dangerous.

At the time of this report, the Obama administration seems to be in favor of the proposed rule.

Source: Carey L. Biron, “US Plans to Speed Poultry Slaughtering, Cut Inspections,” Inter Press Service, March 7, 2014, http://www.ipsnews.net/2014/03/u-s-planning-speed-poultry-slaughtering-cut-inspections/

Student Researcher: Jazmine Flores (Indian River State College)

Faculty Researcher: Elliot Cohen (Indian River State College)

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