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The federal government has been met with pork plants’ demands to reduce the number of inspections and removing ‘speed limits’ in order to kill more pigs.
Currently, plants cannot exceed 1,106 hogs per hour due to inspectors having to examine the carcasses and remove any parts they may cause harm to consumers.
Those in favor of the new proposal argue market hogs around six months old and weigh 250 are ‘generally healthy’ so would not need inspecting.
They told the New York Times that: “The elimination of maximum speeds would add flexibility to plant production schedules and staffing levels.”
Concerns have been raised, particularly about the effects that increased speeds could have on workers and public health, with people arguing the new proposal is ‘acting for the financial benefit of meatpacking giants’.
“The fact that the U.S.D.A. is in charge of food safety is an oxymoron,” said Deborah Berkowitz, a former Senior Official for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
“The U.S.D.A. has always been there to promote the industry… Their main focus is to increase the profits of the meatpacking and poultry industry that they regulate.”