The Trump administration plans to give much of the responsibility for pig safety inspections to the pork industry, cutting the number of federal inspectors by about 40 percent, The Washington Post reports. The shift will replace federal inspectors, who are responsible for identifying diseased and contaminated pork, with production plant employees. The decision, which could take effect as early as May, comes after the Federal Aviation Administration gave Boeing control over safety tests for jets later involved in two fatal crashes. These delegation efforts are part of the Trump administration’s broader goal to reduce regulations.
Under the proposed new inspection system, there would be no limits on slaughter-line speeds. Pat Basu, the chief veterinarian with the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service from 2016 to 2018, refused to sign off on the new pork system. “Look at the FAA. It took a year or so before the crashes happened,” Basu said. “This could pass and everything could be OK for a while, until some disease is missed and we have an outbreak all over the country.”