In a country that is increasingly concerned about its health and its future, there’s no shortage of concerns about the potential impact of President Donald Trump’s proposed overhaul of the nation’s meat inspection program.
The administration is proposing to expand the scope of inspections to include more animals and increase the amount of meat inspectors have to examine before allowing a meat product to be sold to consumers.
And while it may seem like Trump is trying to address some of the issues the nation is dealing with, the bill would make a mockery of our food safety laws.
In addition to its proposed elimination of meat inspection, the law would also require meat producers to submit a safety certificate that shows the animals were properly housed, fed, and handled prior to inspection.
The legislation also requires meat inspections to be conducted at the same time every week, instead of just once every two weeks, and would require a report on each inspection.
Under the bill, the FDA would have to notify Congress if the food safety inspection program were to be scaled back or if the inspections were suspended.
In a recent interview with Recode, President Trump defended the legislation and said it was necessary to protect consumers from unsafe meat.
He said the legislation would give consumers the ability to know whether they are buying a safe product and would also ensure that consumers are informed about potential health and safety risks before they purchase a product.
But there are concerns about how it would actually affect consumers.
As it stands now, meat inspections are voluntary and can be extended or scaled back depending on the availability of meat, the quality of the meat, and whether the animals have been raised humanely.
As Recode’s Kate Kellogg explains, this creates an incentive for meat producers who want to make sure that they’re doing things right to avoid having to produce more meat.
Kellogg says she was surprised to learn that the bill actually would require meat inspectors to have more inspection experience.
“This bill is going to make it so that if you have an inspection that is a 2, 3-year period, and you don’t have a meat inspection that’s longer than that, you’re going to be required to submit an inspection report,” Kellogg said.
Kellogs research shows that when meat inspections have to be suspended, more animals are being inspected.
But Kellogg also said the bill does not do enough to ensure that meat inspectors are doing their job.
She said there needs to be more transparency in the process.
“They’re supposed to be checking the product and making sure that it’s safe and they’re making sure they’re following all the safety guidelines that they are supposed to have,” Kellogs said.
“But in practice, they’re going through the process, they can’t see the product.
They can’t make an inspection, and they don’t know whether the product is safe or not.
They’re doing inspections and they make the inspection report, and then they’re not getting any feedback.”
The FDA does not have the authority to suspend inspections without informing Congress, according to Kellogs.
Kellog also said that the USDA, which oversees food safety, has no authority to set policy for inspections.
“I have never heard of the FDA saying, ‘we’re going in and we’re going out of this,'” Kellogg told Recode.
“So, there needs really to be oversight.”
According to the FDA, it is a policy change that has nothing to do with the bill’s scope.
FDA Director Anthony Colangelo said in a statement to Recode that it is not a policy or a proposal, but an initiative that takes place on a case-by-case basis to protect the public health.
“While the administration’s proposed changes to the National Meat Inspection Program would expand the number of animals and require more inspections, the proposal does not seek to alter the existing system,” Colangelo wrote.
“Rather, it will enhance the inspection process and make it easier for consumers to understand the risks of their food.”
The meat inspector’s job isn’t easy, and Kellogg has seen some of that firsthand.
She has seen her colleagues put animals in cages and force them to walk in front of other animals.
She even saw her colleagues make her move the wrong way on an inspection.
She says that was the hardest part about working for the agency.
“There’s so much stuff that’s happening, there is so much pressure,” Kellog said.
She added that she and other workers are fed up with the lack of oversight.
“We don’t want our jobs to be done in a way that they don’ want to be, in a manner that they can say, ‘that’s why we’re leaving,'” Kellog told Recovid.
“It’s just really frustrating.
It’s really stressful.”
The food safety bill has been under consideration for more than a year, and the legislation has been signed into law by the president.
The bill is expected to take effect in September and take effect on January 1, 2020.