Resolution Supporting Detailed Meat and Poultry Inspections to Safeguard Public Health

WHEREAS, to determine if meat and poultry are safe for human consumption, the USDA Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906 (FMIA) and the Poultry Products Inspection Act of 1957 (PPIA), and later updates of these laws, mandate: inspection of livestock before slaughter; detailed postmortem inspection of each carcass to determine health before processing; and submission to ongoing USDA monitoring and inspection; and

WHEREAS, now the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) in partnership with the industry has conducted an experimental Inspection Models Project (HIMP) designed to streamline the inspection process, reduce federal inspection and oversight, and increase the processing line speed (the number of carcasses processed daily); and the HIMP relies instead on microbiological sampling rather than detailed manual inspection; and

WHEREAS, three out of five of the meat packing plants where the new HIMP system was used were among the worst violators of meat contamination, sending as much as two million tons of contaminated meat to market each day; a lawsuit by the meat inspectors’ union won a ruling that the privatization of meat inspection was a violation of federal law; and a coalition of civil rights groups have charged that increasing the processing line speed also puts workers at greater risk;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party opposes the adoption and expansion of the failed HIMP system as provisions of the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) of 2010 and the USDA New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS) of 2014 that would dangerously reduce meat and poultry inspection standards and reduce workers’ safety; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party will communicate this resolution to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid, Senator Chuck Schumer and call upon Congress to restore federal meat inspector levels and the funding needed to conduct direct observations and manual inspections to ensure that meat and poultry products are safe for human consumption.

Submitted by Progressive Democrats of the Santa Monica Mountains
Adopted by LACDP 4/14/15

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