A number of inaccurate media reports surfaced after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released an Aug. 22 report, “U.S. GAO - Food Safety: More Disclosure and Data Needed to Clarify Impact of Changes to Poultry and Hog Inspections.”

The GAO report details findings about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service’s (FSIS) new inspection procedures that have been piloted in poultry and swine slaughter plants since 1998.

According to a National Association of Federal Veterinarians press release issued Tuesday, a number of media reports mischaracterized GAO’s findings.  Most of these assert GAO claims that the FSIS data from the pilot was poorly analyzed. However, GAO simply declares a universal finding inherent in all the best studies – data has its limitations.  In its highlights page, GAO plainly states FSIS should, “...clearly disclose to the public limitations in the information – including the cost-benefit analysis."

 As a result of its study, the GAO made two principal recommendations:

1) FSIS should disclose to the public limitations in the information – including the cost-benefit analysis – the agency relied on for the rulemaking to modernize poultry slaughter inspections.

2) For hogs, FSIS should collect and analyze the information necessary to determine whether the pilot project is meeting its purpose.

Read the full news release at www.nafv.org.