GAO Criticizes USDA for Pilot Projects on Speeding Up Meat Processing Lines
In a report, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) failed to evaluate properly three pilot programs used as the basis for a proposed rule to increase line speeds in poultry-processing facilities. For example, line speeds would increase from the current 140 birds a minute to 175 under the proposal. Critics have argued that increasing line speeds will harm workers, including increased ergonomic injuries. The GAO recommends that USDA “(1) collect and analyze information to determine if the young hog pilot project is meeting its purpose and (2) clearly disclose to the public limitations in the information it relied on for the proposed rule to modernize poultry slaughter inspections.” The USDA has agreed with GAO’s recommendations.