I don’t have a well-founded opinion on the outsourcing aspects of proposed revisions to how the US Department of Agriculture inspects chickens for safety purposes that lead the article, but this seems like obviously bad news: “The inspectors also said the Agriculture Department proposal allows poultry plants to speed up their assembly lines to about 200 birds per minute from 140, hampering any effort to examine birds for defects.”
That is a gigantic increase—over forty percent—in the speed with which chickens are now going to be inspected. I guess it’s possible that this won’t compromise safety, but it’d be pretty hard to persuade me. Is there some particular crisis that’s prompting us to want faster-processed, somewhat less safe chickens? It seems to me that as time goes on and America gets richer, we should become more willing to bear the costs involved in thorough inspections, not less.