The New York Times editorial board on Monday weighed in on a U.S. Department of Agriculture Inspector General report on pig slaughter, a month after the report was issued. “In the United States, there are some 8,600 federal meat inspectors working in 6,300 packing and processing plants. Their task is daunting: visual and manual inspection of every carcass in plants that process thousands, and in some cases tens of thousands, of animals a day,” read the editorial. “How good a job does the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service really do? A new report from the U.S.D.A.’s inspector general is not encouraging.” See Food Safety News’ coverage of the report here. The editorial notes the IG report finds “several fundamental flaws, the most serious of which is that serial violators of health standards are allowed to keep operating.” Between 2008 and 2011, according to the IG report, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service inspectors noted nearly 45,000 violations, including fecal contamination and other food safety issues, but those inspectors only suspended operations 28 times. “The inspectors are not only overworked, but, in many cases, undertrained,” according to the Times. “Even in the presence of government investigators, some inspectors failed to condemn contaminated meat. Nor were the inspectors vigilant enough when it came to flagging violations of the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, which specifies a minimum standard for the treatment of animals being led to slaughter.” “The good news is that the Agriculture Department is inspecting its inspection system,” the paper concluded. “The bad news is that the inspector general’s office merely urges inspectors to conform more fully to existing laws and directives, when what is needed is more and better-trained inspectors.”