In a press call today, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the poultry slaughter “modernization” rule is final and effective immediately.
CPR President Rena Steinzor reacted to the rule's finalization:
The rule is a travesty from the perspective of every child who has chicken nuggets for lunch and every low-wage worker who stands in a fetid, overcrowded room cutting chicken carcasses thousands of times a day.
The new inspection system will allow plants to operate their slaughtering and evisceration lines at speeds that have proven hazardous for workers. It will pull federal inspectors off the processing line, ensuring that carcasses caked in blood, guts, and feathers whir by at the rate of 2.3 bird per second.
The Government Accountability Office has written two scathing reports on the scant data used in promulgating the rule and the Southern Poverty Law Center has released reports documenting the already harrowing musculoskeletal injuries poultry workers are subjected to.
We’re disappointed that the Obama administration has turned its back on workers and left consumers at the mercy of Big Chicken.