Statement of CSPI Deputy Director of Regulatory Affairs Sarah Sorscher

Consumers concerned about the safety of pork should be glad that the House of Representatives is blocking the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s plan to privatize and deregulate the slaughter of swine for food.

Today, the House Appropriations Committee passed an amendment to the FY 2020 Agriculture FDA appropriations bill that blocks funding to USDA to implement the controversial proposal. The amendment prohibits the USDA from moving forward with the proposal pending a review by the agency’s Inspector General.

The amendment is an important step that will prevent the USDA from rushing the proposal through without adequate attention to food safety.  As a key protection, the agency must develop performance standards to monitor pathogens in meat before pressing forward with any efforts to change the inspection process.

CSPI joins with labor, food safety, and animal welfare organizations in calling on the Senate to sustain this amendment and provide much-needed oversight to the agency charged with protecting the safety of our meat supply.