Inspection rule pits chicken industry against unions

By Kevin Bogardus, The Hill

A proposed rule by the Agriculture Department (USDA) that would speed up inspections at poultry processing plants has enraged unions.

Chicken and turkey producers support the proposal, saying it could modernize outdated inspection procedures. But those in labor organizations are seeking to modify the rule, arguing it would shift too much responsibility over to plant owners and endanger the safety of the food and workers. Also at stake are up to 800 poultry inspector positions that could be affected by the new regulation.

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