The USDA is considering the privatization of food safety inspections

The USDA is pursuing the privatization of food safety inspections in beef slaughter plants. According to documents obtained by Food & Water Watch via the Freedom of Information Act, Tyson Foods recently requested a waiver to allow Tyson employees to conduct more inspections in place of USDA food safety inspectors. “This dangerous proposal could rid beef slaughter plants of most government inspectors,” said the Food & Water Watch in a statement. According to the article, the USDA is planning to “deregulate the inspection system for beef slaughter plants,” just like they did in the poultry and pork sectors over 20 years ago. In 1998, the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) allowed for the number of federal inspectors to be replaced by company employees at two dozen poultry plants and five hog slaughter plants. In 2014, this system included the entire poultry industry. In 2018 the pork industry followed with the FSIS creating the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System. According to the Food & Water Watch, this puts consumer safety at risk, as companies are likely to inspect themselves differently than if an outside regulator was to. According to the USDA Office of the Inspector General, “We… found FSIS could not determine whether the goals of a pilot program… were met because FSIS did not adequately oversee the program. In the 15 years since the program’s inception, FSIS did not critically assess whether the new inspection process had measurably improved food safety at each (pilot) plant, a key goal of the program.” @

The USDA wants to privatize food safety inspections - NationofChange

“This dangerous proposal could rid beef slaughter plants of most government inspectors.”

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