Democrats Reintroduce Safe Line Speeds During COVID-19 Act


Democrats have reintroduced the Safe Line Speeds During COVID-19 Act. The lawmakers say the bill will protect worker, consumer, and animal safety by suspending all current and future USDA waivers and regulations that allow companies to increase production line speeds at meatpacking plants during the COVID-19 pandemic. Senate Democrat Corey Booker, along with Representatives Rosa DeLauro and Bennie Thompson, announced the reintroduction last week. In January, the Department of Agriculture withdrew the Trump administration’s proposed rule, which would have allowed poultry processing plants to increase the speed of their production lines by 25 percent.

For the duration of the COVID-19 public health emergency declaration, this bill would suspend all active waivers issued by USDA and suspend USDA’s authority to issue new waivers in this area. The bill would also suspend implementation of, and conversion to, the New Swine Slaughter Inspection System established under USDA’s final rule published in October 2019, titled Modernization of Swine Slaughter Inspection.