Press Releases

Thompson: USDA Response to Line Speed Decision Threatens Food Supply Chain

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Washington, May 27, 2021 | comments

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) announced its intention to require swine processing facilities operating under the New Swine Inspection System to reduce production line speeds in accordance with a recent court ruling that struck down a regulatory provision allowing those facilities to operate at faster speeds. Following the announcement, Republican Leader of the House Committee on Agriculture, Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson, issued the following statement:

“The pandemic made very clear the sensitive linkage between our nation’s food processing capacity and food security. While the Biden Administration has repeatedly asserted its commitment to addressing this vulnerability, USDA’s decision speaks otherwise. 

“The court’s decision offered USDA the opportunity to address minor technical deficiencies and reinforce an otherwise thoughtful and deliberative rulemaking that’s taken decades to develop. Instead, USDA chose a path that will most certainly result in an immediate and likely permanent reduction in our nation’s food production capacity, while simultaneously impacting our nation’s producers and consumers who are just beginning to recover from the pandemic.

“It is disappointing that it appears union politics have taken precedence over protecting U.S. businesses, farmers, and consumers. I hope the Administration will reconsider its path forward and remedy this situation with a pragmatic, forward-looking solution.”

Republican Leader Thompson joined Republican House and Senate agricultural leadership in an April 26 letter imploring the Administration to explore all possible options to avoid this outcome.

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