Without naming his company or town, Mr. Chris Jenkins became the first to ask USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to “strike down” Petition 23-07 from Animal Partisan last week.
“I feel these requests would only add greater confusion to an industry that has become riddled with gray areas and misinterpretations due to these requests,” Jenkins wrote.
Animal Partisan, one of the nation’s many animal activist organizations, last September petitioned FSIS to issue a notice to convey that:
1) State government officials are not categorically preempted from enforcing state anti-cruelty laws by the Federal Meat Inspection Act, the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act, or the Poultry Products Inspection Act, and
2) FSIS personnel should cooperate with state government officials to enforce state anti-cruelty laws and improve clarity and frequency of communication with those officials.
Jenkins, however, points out that FSIS regulations already exist for cooperation between state and Federal in meat and poultry processing.
“I feel there is plenty of clarity already, “ he added. “Any additional notices or directives could create greater confusion or misinterpretation.”
The petition has been pending since it was filed on September 2, 2023. It mainly asks FSIS to publish a notice clarifying that federal law does not necessarily prevent state government officials from bringing animal cruelty charges when farmed animals are abused in slaughter plants.
The Animal Welfare Institute filed comments in support of the petition just ahead of Jenkins. It said the Animal Partisan petition “ is a simple request and would require relatively little of the agency; yet, it could significantly improve the welfare of animals at slaughter.”
Petition 23-07 is pending at the FSIS Office of Policy and Program Development for review.
Meanwhile, the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), another animal activist organization, submitted comments in support of an Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) petition to prohibit the use of “climate-friendly” claims or similar claims on beef products or in the
alternative, to require independent third-party verification of such claims and a numerical carbon disclosure whenever such claims are made on beef product packaging.
In Petition 23-04, EWG asks FSIS to:
● Prohibit the “Low-Carbon Beef” Claim recently approved by USDA.
● Require third-party verification for similar carbon claims.
● Require a numerical on-pack carbon disclosure when such claims are made.
ALDF comments run 154 pages.
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