OMB Watch Stands Up for Strong Safety Standards, Comments on Troubling Food Safety Rule
by Katie Greenhaw, 6/1/2012
Tuesday, OMB Watch submitted comments on a new rule being considered by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) that would dramatically change the poultry inspection process in this country. Our comments detailed the rule's potential consequences to food and worker safety: more tainted chicken making it to our families' dinner tables and more injuries on the job.
The proposed rule would decrease the number of federal inspectors in poultry processing plants and instead rely on plant employees to do more “self-inspections.” At the same time, it would allow the plants to speed up production lines, endangering workers and making it more difficult to spot contaminated chickens.
We urged FSIS to withdraw the rule until the agency can assure the nation that any proposed inspection changes will not increase health and safety risks to the public. We're not the only ones standing up for strong food and worker safety protections. More than 650 Americans responded to our action alert on the rule and submitted letters to FSIS asking the agency to prioritize strong safeguards and withdraw the rule. Many public interest groups are also demanding that the rule be withdrawn.
Now that the public comment period is closed, FSIS will review the comments and determine how to proceed. Let’s hope the agency listens to the public and does not move forward with this troubling rule.
You can view public comments on the rule at regulations.gov by searching for Docket No. FSIS-2011-0012.