Groups Applaud Congressional Action to Prevent FSIS Furloughs
National Cattlemen's Beef Association President Scott George says Congressional passage of the continuing resolution with a provision to shift funds from USDA accounts to pay Food Safety Inspection Service inspectors is great news for every segment of American agriculture. National Pork Producers Council President Randy Spronk called it very good news for pork producers and other livestock and poultry producers. George says this shift of finances will avoid a crisis by keeping FSIS inspectors in the plants where they belong. According to Spronk - federal meat inspection is a function that should be maintained to protect public health by ensuring the safety of the U.S. meat supply. George thanked Senators Roy Blunt and Mark Pryor for ensuring the nation's food supply isn't limited by politics. Spronk added that the efforts of the Senators will protect food-animal producers and meat packers from costly losses and consumers from higher prices.
American Meat Institute President J. Patrick Boyle said lawmakers recognized the essential nature of meat and poultry inspection by taking this step to prevent inspector furloughs. The Federal Meat Inspection Act of 1906 and related legislation requires the inspection of all meat, poultry and egg products produced in the U.S. or imported by a federal food safety inspector. Without inspection - no product can be sold or shipped interstate. Had inspection been halted - George says there would have been a backlog of animals, shortened supply of beef to market, higher prices and harm to the futures markets.
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