A coalition of 68 Congressmen are asking Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to withdraw USDA’s proposed new chicken and turkey inspection program, HACCP-based Inspection Model Project (HIMP).
The proposed program would speed up inspection processes at poultry processing facilities. The Members of Congress in a letter to USDA, stated their objections with the proposed HIMP program.
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They are concerned it would compromise safety, as well as humane slaughter practices and believe by allowing plants to increase the speed of the processing lines it would adversely impact the public, plant employees and the birds being processed.
USDA believes the HIMP program will improve food safety by freeing Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) inspectors to concentrate on tests for detecting pathogens, by allowing company employees to perform the “inefficient process” of visual inspection.
The new program would save USDA approximately $90 million over three years. Congressmen Jim Moran (D-VA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Louise Slaughter (D-NY) and Bennie Thompson (D-MS) spearheaded the letter.
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