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Congress Considers Suspending Slaughter Line Speed and Inspection Staffing Waivers

Senate Bill 713, the “Safe Line Speeds During COVID-19 Act of 2021,” would direct the Secretary of Agriculture to temporarily suspend current and future waivers that allow for increased line speeds or reduced inspection staffing at meat and poultry slaughterhouses. The bill would also formally suspend implementation of the “New Swine Slaughter Inspection System” detailed in the final rule published in the Federal Register on October 1, 2019 and mandate a review of actions taken by federal agencies in response to the COVID–19 pandemic “to determine the effectiveness of those actions in protecting animal, food, and worker safety.” The full text of the bill is available here.

FSIS Responds to OIG Recommendations Regarding Pig Slaughter Proposed Rule

The Food Safety and Inspection Service has responded to two recommendations from the Office of Inspector General regarding the agency’s rulemaking process for the “Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection” proposed rule.

New Swine Inspection System Violates Administrative Procedure Act

In a case brought by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, a Minnesota federal judge has held that the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s adoption of the New Swine Inspection System (eliminating line speed limits) violated the Administrative Procedure Act because the agency rejected extensive public comment and eliminated line speed limits without considering the impact on worker safety.