Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Representative Brad Finstad (R-MN), and House Ag Chair Glenn Thompson (R-PA) applauded the USDA’s decision to extend the line speed trial for pork processors. USDA extended the Time-Limited Trial for New Swine Inspection Systems plants but cautioned that the 30-day extension would do little to provide needed clarity for pork producers, who contract with processors many months in advance.
The announcement comes after a letter requested Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack issue an extension to ensure that processing plants can continue operating at increased line speeds. “The New Swine Inspection System trial has proven safe and effective at swiftly processing hogs,” Grassley says. “While I’m happy with the extension, USDA risks creating a harmful bottleneck in the pork supply chain if the extension doesn’t go any longer.” House Ag Chair Thompson says, “It’s my hope the department operates transparently to ensure our facilities can maintain full operational capacity.”