Protect Meatpacking Workers and Consumers, Tell the USDA to Withdraw Dangerous Proposal

Together, we made a difference stopping widespread line speed ups in poultry plants by submitting tens of thousands of comments to the USDA.

Let’s put our voices together again and let the USDA know we are fighting for consumer and worker safety and animal welfare. (You must include the information in bold below).

To make the most impact, we suggest submitting a personalized comment. Here is an example:

“I am a (consumer, parent, advocate, public official, worker advocate) deeply concerned about worker safety in hog plants, (add a fact from below), and I urge the Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA (FSIS-2016-0017) to reject any proposal to (increase line speeds in hog slaughter plants) (remove all limitations on line speeds in hog slaughter plants). We also oppose the removal of the on-line food safety inspectors and any decrease in government food safety inspectors in the plant. Changing the existing rule (will lead to more worker injuries) (increase health and safety risks to workers). For the protection of consumer health, worker safety and animal welfare, the USDA, FSIS, must reject any increase in line speed limits in swine slaughter plants and withdraw their proposal.”

Facts to incorporate into your comments:

  • Hog slaughter workers already endure exceedingly harsh working conditions to provide cheap meat to American consumers.
  • The pork processing industry is one of the most dangerous for workers.
  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, based on a voluntary survey of pork processing plants, meatpacking workers are injured at rates that are more than 2.4 times higher than the national average for all industries. The injury rate of meatpacking workers is nearly 3 times higher for those injuries that require workers to lose time from work or restrict their duties.
  • The faster the line speed, the greater the risk of harm to workers and consumers.
  • The proposal would reduce the number of government food safety inspectors in the plants, turning that function over to a reduced number of company employees.
  • The new proposal also jeopardizes consumer health. Reports by the Office of Inspector General found that the five pilot plants that implemented this proposed new inspection system may have a higher potential for food safety risks.
  • The new proposal allows the industry to police itself, essentially allowing the fox to guard the hen house.
  • This proposal will roll back progress and jeopardize animal welfare by speeding up slaughter lines. A faster slaughter line also invites improper stunning of pigs as required by the Humane Methods of Livestock Slaughter Act. Pigs may never lose consciousness, or may regain it during slaughter.

Submit your comment now.

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