Food & Water Watch has sued the U.S. Department of Agriculture to block the implementation of its new poultry inspection rule.

 In a lawsuit, filed in a Washington, D.C., federal court, the consumer advocacy group charges that the USDA’s final rule violates the 1957 Poultry Products Inspection Act, which gave USDA authority over assuring that poultry products are unadulterated, properly marked, labeled, and packaged for public consumption. The suit identifies, as plaintiffs, F&WW itself and two of its members.

The group said in a statement, consumers will be hurt by the changes, which are scheduled to go into effect on October 20. The lawsuit can be found here:

USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) amended its new inspection rule to remove a change that would allow poultry processing plants to increase their line speeds to run as high as 140 birds per minute.  However, the final rule will allow the 20 chicken plants operating in USDA’s modernized poultry inspection pilot program to continue using higher line speeds.  Another provision of the final rule that consumer advocates dislike is the ability to shift FSIS inspectors from production-floor duties to conduct more offline inspection activities, such as microbial testing, allowing employees of the facility to take their place in handling floor inspections.