Budget proposal signals action on contentious poultry inspection rule

The proposed measure stems from Obama’s 2011 executive order requiring agencies to examine existing regulations to identify outmoded, redundant or unnecessarily burdensome rules.

Under the regulation, which is now in the pipeline, the system would be updated and the number of on-site inspectors would be slashed.

“The Agency is taking this action to improve food safety and the effectiveness of poultry slaughter inspection systems, remove unnecessary regulatory obstacles to innovation, and make better use of the Agency’s resources, “ FSIS officials said in a rule-making notice filed last year in the Federal Register.

The Center for Progressive Reform, which advocates for worker and food safety protections, objected, saying the “despicable plan” would shift oversight to the slaughterhouses themselves.

“The proposed rollback would make corporate owners rather than federal inspectors responsible for scrutinizing slaughtered carcasses to ensure they are free of blood, guts, and (euphemistically) ‘fecal matter,’” the group’s president, Rena Steinzor wrote last year.

On Wednesday the group said the proposed budget cut indicates the administration plans to issue the rule soon, and renewed their call to scrap it.