Fifteen members of Congress sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Friday with questions about the New Poultry Inspection System (NPIS). The members — including Reps. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Louise Slaughter (D-NY) — wrote that they are “extremely disappointed” that the agency didn’t address their concerns about the rule, adding that it is “detrimental to food and worker safety” and “abdicates food safety oversight from USDA.” The letter asks Vilsack about an implementation timeline and agency plans for what happens if more (or fewer) than the expected 219 plants decide to shift to the new system, how FSIS will verify that NPIS plants are meeting requirements and producing safe food, how many positions will be displaced or eliminated, health and safety activities at the plants, and how the agency will make sure the plants adhere to animal welfare laws. They also inquire in the letter what penalties there will be for NPIS plants involved in a foodborne illness outbreak. Specifically, the members want to know if such plants will have to give up the system. The members request answers to their questions within 30 days so that they can further evaluate the rule.