Unions, academics, some meat inspectors say the move would make it harder to ensure food and worker safety

U.S. chicken companies slaughter and process about 170 million chickens each week. They want to do it faster.

Meatpackers are seeking U.S. Department of Agriculture approval to raise processing-line speeds by about 25%, aiming to keep pace with growing domestic and international demand for poultry. The National Chicken Council, which represents poultry companies, said in a petition filed this month that would mean processing 175...

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