Don’t give the pork industry the power to regulate themselves

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The federal government wants to shift its regulation power over the pork industry to the pork industry. Giving the folks that control the pork industry the power to regulate themselves? Sounds like a bad mix.

With the proposed regulation plan, the responsibility for identifying diseased and contaminated pork would lie with the pork plant employees. Their training would be controlled by the plant owners - meaning that it’s likely they have little or insufficient training.

This administration has already allowed some poultry plants to get rid of limits on line speed — pork plant employees won’t necessarily have the required time to thoroughly check that the meat is not contaminated.

Before, the regulation fell on those specifically trained to quality check meat processing plants from the federal government.  

The former chief veterinarian at the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service refused to sign off on this plan because he expressed concern over safety for both consumers and livestock.

We could have outbreaks of diseases all over this country because of this new rule.

If a disease were to break out because of this new regulation switch, it could cost producers and the public $188 billion and state and federal governments $11 billion. That’s a lot of money.

USDA officials have also said that they won’t be testing for salmonella or E. coli under this new system.

This could also jeopardize worker safety. Illness rates for those working in the meatpacking industry are already 16 times higher than those working in other industries.

This is a lose-lose-lose situation. We can’t let the USDA transfer power to an industry whose interest is on profit and not regulation.