Special Alert: Constituent Update - May 26, 2021
USDA’s Response to the Minnesota Court Decision
On March 31, 2021, the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota vacated a portion of FSIS’ final rule establishing a voluntary “New Swine Slaughter Inspection System” (NSIS). The Court found that FSIS violated the Administrative Procedure Act because it asked for comments on the impact of line speed increases on worker safety in the proposed rule but did not consider these comments in the final rule. The Court vacated the rule only insofar as it eliminated the maximum line speed cap for NSIS establishments. The other provisions of the final rule were not affected by the Court’s decision.
The Court stayed the order for 90 days to give the Agency and the impacted plants time to adjust. At this time, establishments operating under NSIS should prepare to revert to a maximum line speed of 1,106 head per hour on June 30, 2021.
The Agency is committed to worker safety and ensuring a safe, reliable food supply. We will work with the establishments to comply with the Court’s ruling and minimize disruptions to the supply chain.