Friday, September 12, 2014

Group sues to block poultry inspection reforms

Food & Water Watch has filed suit in federal court to stop the implementation of United States Department of Agriculture’s new poultry inspection rules.

“These rules essentially privatize poultry inspection and pave the way for others in the meat industry to police themselves,” Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said in a news release.

“The USDA’s decision to embrace the scheme —an initiative lobbied for by the meat industry for more than a decade — flies in the face of the agency’s mandate to protect consumers. What’s more, we believe it’s illegal.”

In its suit, Food & Water Watch charges the new system violates the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA), a law passed in 1957 that gives USDA the authority to protect consumer health and welfare by assuring that poultry products are wholesome, not adulterated, and properly marked, labeled and packaged.

There are similar poultry-inspection reforms being implemented in Canada, but so far no consumer-led protests.