Bill will remove restrictions on state inspected meat

Cattle Market & Farm Reports, Editorials
Dec 20, 2007
by WLJ
Congressman Zack Space, D-OH, was expected to introduce legislation last week that would allow meat processed at a state facility meeting federal inspection requirements to be shipped across state lines. This will dramatically reduce the distance producers will have to travel to sell their products, dramatically expand the market, and generally reduce costs.

“Requiring federal inspection for interstate sale has created an unnecessary burden on our farm producers,” Space said. “State facilities use federal guidelines as a baseline standard, and many facilities exceed those requirements.”

“During my Farm Tour earlier this year, the number one request from livestock producers I spoke with was changing this policy so state facilities can approve meat for shipment across state lines. This will reduce the distance farmers have to travel to bring their products to market, greatly increase the markets to which they can sell, and bring down costs,” Space said.

This bill removes unnecessary restrictions on intrastate meat and poultry shipment for states that are able to prove to USDA that their meat and poultry inspection programs are equal to federal inspection standards.

This legislation gives USDA the authority to perform random inspections of state-inspected plants to ensure their inspection requirements are equal to federal inspection requirements.

If USDA finds that a state meat inspection facility is not equal to the federal inspection requirements, interstate meat restrictions will be imposed on the facility.