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A poultry industry group this month asked the Trump administration to raise the limit on chicken processing speeds by 25 percent in an effort to meet rising demand.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the National Chicken Council's petition called for the U.S. Department of Agriculture to scrap the processing cap of 140 birds per minute in favor of a new limit of 175 per minute.

The agency originally outlined a plan for faster processing limits in 2014 as part of a broader regulatory overhaul of the poultry sector, but the limit remained in place in large part due to public criticism.

Labor representatives, inspectors and academic observers warned that the increased speeds could compromise food safety and pose more danger to workers in an already risky industry.

“No one benefits but industry,” veteran USDA meat inspector and union chairman Stan Painter told the Journal.

NCC officials, however, countered that faster speeds under a pilot program actually reduced contamination and suggested that the new limits could allow companies to put more resources into safety measures.

"If anything, it will enhance [food safety],” NCC President Michael Brown wrote of the proposed limit.

The request comes as chicken consumption is expected to reach record levels in the U.S. and top producers prepare to open massive new processing facilities.

USDA officials told the paper that they are considering the petition.

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