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Chick-News.com Poultry Industry News, Comments and more by Simon M. Shane

Federal Court Vacates FSIS New Swine Inspection System Rule

04/04/2021

On Wednesday, March 31st, U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen of the Minnesota Circuit vacated the October 2019 FSIS rule permitting the New Swine Inspection System with unlimited line speed.  The order issued by Judge Ericksen was stayed for 90 days to allow packers to adapt to the permitted line speeds prior to the NSIS.

 

The United Food and Commercial Workers Union sued*, claiming that the USDA violated the Administrative Procedures Act.  The Union claimed that when the NSIS was proposed worker safety was an important consideration and requested public comment. The FSIS rejected comments relating to worker safety in relation to line speeds and accordingly violated the Act.

 

The Court held that USDA acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it refused to consider the impact of eliminating line speed limits in relation to worker health and safety.  The court rejected arguments advanced by the meat packing industry that increased line speeds do not put workers at increased risk of harm.

 

*United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local #663 v U.S. Department of Agriculture.


 
Copyright © 2021 Simon M. Shane