The Trump administration has been asked to reverse Obama’s regulation on poultry inspection lines by lobbying Republican lawmakers. The limit has been set at 140 birds-per-minute in most inspection plants by the Obama administration. The original plan requested by the USDA was to limit the speed on the lines at 175 birds-per-minute at plants that agreed to adopt a new poultry inspection system.
The National Chicken Council (NCC) requested in a petition that the USDA let poultry plants operating under the new system to have no set limit to how many birds can be inspected per minute. The NCC states that with the new system, workers should be able to work at any speed and still safely handle the product, free from the poultry industry regulations which are currently limiting the industry’s ability to compete with the rising demand for poultry.
There is no doubt in the rising demand for poultry, especially in the U.S., but critics of the deregulation request worry that, with no limits, poultry workers could be exploited and there may be a rise in contaminated foods. There is already a push to implement further food safety procedures. Though there is data supporting safe working conditions for birds moving at 175 per minute on the line, the opposition says the studies done on the subject are slim and incomplete.
The lobbyists hope to have some kind of decision or statement by Trump on this matter by the end of Oct. 2017.