Today, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) introduced a bill that aims to prohibit meat processing and slaughter plants from operating at dangerously high speeds, practices that have contributed to the COVID outbreaks at poultry, pig and cattle facilities in recent months.
He was joined by his colleagues Senators Richard Blumenthal, Elizabeth Warren, Dianne Feinstein, Bernie Sanders, Jeff Merkley, and Kamala Harris as original co-sponsors.
The bill is a companion to a House proposal called the Safe Line Speeds in COVID-19 Act, introduced earlier this month by Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH). That measure was endorsed by a broad coalition of consumer, animal welfare, and workers’ advocacy organizations.
In response to the Booker announcement, Food & Water Watch/Food & Water Action Senior Government Affairs Representative Tony Corbo released the following statement:
“The industry has been able to get what it wants from the Trump administration, with disastrous consequences for public safety and workers’ lives. The industry’s preferred approach to the pandemic has been to speed up production and reduce government oversight, which has placed workers, safety inspectors, and their families at great risk. Senator Booker has been a leader on agriculture and food safety, and we look forward to working hard to work to make this important bill into law.”