The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has faced criticism everywhere from Congress to public interest groups.
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Two heavyweight departments in the Obama administration are squabbling over controversial changes to the nation’s poultry inspection procedures.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has been pushing new poultry inspection standards that would help industry boost production while subjecting it to less regulatory oversight, but critics say that move would come at the cost of worker and food safety.

The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has faced criticism everywhere from Congress to public interest groups for the proposal. But a branch of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is also complaining about the rule in a rare dispute between major branches of the administration.

The HHS agency this week accused the USDA of “misleading” the public about its research at a poultry plant. The director of the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH) raised his objections in a letter to the USDA.