NELP Comments to FSIS on Proposed New Swine Slaughter Inspection Rule Submitted

April 30. 2018

Docket Clerk

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Food Safety and Inspection Service

Patriots Plaza 3

1400 Independence Avenue SW

Mailstop 3782, Room 8-163A

Washington, DC 20250

RE: Docket No: FSIS-2016-0017; RIN 0583-AD62

Proposed Rule, Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection, 83 Fed. Reg. 4780 (February 1, 2018), RIN 0583-AD62

To Whom It May Concern:

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) submits these comments in response to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) proposal to change Federal meat inspection regulations to establish a new inspection system for market hog slaughter establishments.  NELP is a non-profit research and policy organization that for more than 45 years has sought to ensure that America upholds the promise of opportunity and economic security for all workers. NELP is gravely concerned that this proposed rule, if finalized it its current form, will increase serious work-related injuries to the tens of thousands of hog slaughter establishment workers in this nation, and will have serious negative effects on not only these workers, but their families and their communities.

NELP strongly opposes the proposed rule.  This new proposal jeopardizes worker safety, consumer health and animal welfare. By removing government-trained food inspectors from the slaughter lines, and permitting an increase of maximum line speeds in hog slaughter plants, the proposal will lead to a direct increase in serious, often crippling work-related injuries among the tens of thousands of slaughterhouse workers throughout the country.  FSIS has proposed a rule that will not increase food safety, but will sacrifice the safety and health of tens of thousands of workers in hog slaughter plants in order to increase company profits. As FSIS did in the modernization of the poultry slaughter inspection system in 2014, FSIS must reject any increase in line speeds in hog slaughter plants.

As further described in more detail below, NELP opposes any increase in line speeds in hog slaughter plants, and urges the FSIS to withdraw the proposal.

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To read the full NELP comments submitted, open the PDF below.


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