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USDA Petitioned to Block Imported Meat From Privatized Inspection Systems

Food and Water Watch has petitioned the U.S. Department of Agriculture to revoke equivalency status for four meat inspection programs in Canada, Australia and New Zealand because they have replaced government meat inspectors with company employees.

The Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) “has based its equivalency determinations for these inspection systems for meat imports on the HACCP-based Inspection Models Project (HIMP) in hog slaughter,” read the organization’s letter, adding, “That pilot project has been limited to only five hog slaughter facilities in the United States and has never been evaluated by FSIS as to its effectiveness.”

The petition details Food and Water Watch’s concerns about the Canadian High Line Speed Inspection System, the Canadian HACCP-based Slaughter Inspection Program for Swine, the Australian Export Meat Inspection System, and the Alternate New Zealand Meat Inspection Procedure.

“FSIS has placed the health and welfare of U.S. consumers in jeopardy by permitting the importation of these products that have received deficient inspection by the exporting countries,” wrote Wenonah Hauter, the group’s executive director, in the letter to FSIS.

© Food Safety News
  • John Munsell

    Unimpeded, seamless international trade is the goal not only of multinational companies, but also of gov entities who wish to be held unaccountable for unsafe food and foodborne outbreaks. If we limit gov authority of the meat industry, the gov cannot be held liable or partially responsible when outbreaks occur. Voila! Deregulation of food is the answer for FSIS officials to semi-retire in the meat industry. “Equivalency” is a favorite tactic to accomplish this goal, and woe be to any country’s regulatory agency which attempts to unilaterally implement truly meaningful inspection policies. WTO is now the ultimate authority, such as is seen in COOL. We are indeed now part of a new world order. Get used to it. We must remember that when FSIS introduced HACCP in the mid-90’s, the agency publicly stated that under HACCP, FSIS would (1) no longer police the industry, but that the industry would police itself, (2) that the agency would adopt a “Hands Off” role in the meat industry, and (3) FSIS would dismantle its previous command and control authority. Wake up America! FSIS, and its international counterparts, want nothing to do with meat inspection. John Munsell