The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the North American Meat Institute (Meat Institute) filed an amicus brief with the U.S. District Court, District of Minnesota, in support of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s New Swine Inspection System (NSIS) on Friday, according to a statement from NPPC.
According to NPPC, the voluntary program, enacted into law in the fall of 2019, increases efficiency and effectiveness of the federal inspection process, allows for the rapid adoption of new food-safety technologies in pork slaughter, and has the potential to increase U.S. harvest capacity.
“NPPC strongly supports the NSIS and the program’s loss could result in an annual capacity reduction of nearly 2 million hogs, on top of unprecedented challenges already facing U.S. pork producers as a result of the COVID pandemic,” NPPC said in a statement.
The system has been piloted at five pork processing plants after being developed over many years of research and evaluation. It also received the endorsement of the National Association of Federal Veterinarians, noting the strength of the science-based approach used to design the program.
Labor unions filed a lawsuit against NSIS earlier this year.
“This environment is not one in which additional production slowdowns can be weathered in stride. The livelihoods of American hog farms are already in a precarious state,” the brief explained. Read the full amicus brief here.
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