New rules will allow production lines at pork plants to run faster, despite concerns over safety and quality The US government has given the go-ahead to new rules to eliminate production line speed limits at pig slaughterhouses, deeming restrictions “unnecessary” despite fears that lifting them will worsen the already high number of serious injuries suffered by US meat plant workers. Amputations, fractured fingers, second-degree burns and head trauma are just some of the serious injuries suffered by US meat plant workers every week, according to an investigation last year by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The investigation found that US meat workers are already three times more likely to suffer serious harm than the average American worker, with pork and beef workers nearly seven times more likely to suffer repetitive strain injuries. However, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) said maximum line speeds were an “unnecessary regulatory obstacle to industry innovation” and that its new rules – the first reform to pork inspections for 50 years – were overdue. They would, the department said this week, allow companies to bring in new food saf...