U.S. Senator Kay Hagan led a bipartisan group of thirteen Senators in sending a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack that expresses support for the proposed Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection rule and inquires as to when it will be finalized, reports the Jacksonville Daily News.

The letter, available here, states, “[T]he peer-reviewed risk assessment included in the proposed rule demonstrates that at least 5,000 foodborne illnesses would be prevented if the poultry inspection system were modernized. Additionally, the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) projects that almost $80 million in health care costs would be saved on an annual basis by preventing foodborne illnesses.

“We are interested to know when you plan to send the final rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and your timeline for the implementation of the rule, once finalized.”

Signing the letter was Sens.: Roy Blunt (R-MO), John Boozman (R-AR), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Chris Coons (D-DE), John Cornyn (R-TX), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Johnny Isakson (R-GA), Amy Klobachar (D-MN), Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Mark Warner (D-VA).

Source: Office of Sen. Hagen, Jacksonville Daily News