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Food Integrity Campaign Blog

International Business Times: Mystery Pork: Food Inspectors Warn New FDA Rules Can Make Meat Less Safe

December 17, 2019

Note: this article, featuring our clients Jill Mauer and Anthony Vallone, was originally published here.

Mystery Pork: Food Inspectors Warn New FDA Rules Can Make Meat Less Safe

New quality-control rollbacks backed by the Trump administration will drastically reduce the number of trained inspectors at pork production plants across the country.

Two veteran food inspectors have filed whistleblower disclosure forms with the Office of Special Counsel to raise alarm about the rollback, and claiming they will lead to “unsafe” and “mystery” pork in U.S. supermarkets.

The whistleblowers claim that these changes will affect approximately 90 percent of the pork Americans eat, and leave the American consumer more vulnerable to disease and illness. They specifically forecast these rollbacks will increase the likelihood of things like feces, sex organs, toenails, bladders and unwanted hair.

“It’s so hard to go to work without feeling physically sick watching this just happen, unfolding in front of you,” says one inspector, Anthony Vallone. Fellow inspector-turned whistleblower,  Jill Mauer says, “If this continues across the nation, when you open your package of meat, what you’re gonna get for a pathogen is gonna be a mystery.”

Under current regulations, there are typically about seven trained inspectors in each plant that look for anomalies in the swine coming off the line. The new rollbacks would cut this number to between two and three, and leave the hands-on inspection process largely to untrained employees.

While the rollbacks are part of a pilot program currently only being implemented in five American plants, they are expected to be implemented in 35 more in the coming year, affecting over 90 percent of pork in American supermarkets.