Bill in motion for interstate shipment of state inspected meat
May 10, 2018
Two senators introduced the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act May 10.
The bill, introduced by Senators Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and Angus King (I-Maine) would allow meat and poultry products inspected by state Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) programs to be sold across state lines.
According to a news release from Sen. Rounds' office, there are 27 states with inspection programs certified by the Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) that meet or exceed federal inspection standards. But current federal law does not allow meat to be travel across state lines for sale unless it is approved by a federal meat inspector.
The state inspection programs approved by FSIS must be "at least equal to" or better than federal inspection.
"We'd like to thank Senator Rounds for his commitment to the independent cattleman and processor," said Kenny Graner, President of the United States Cattlemen's Association. "The New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act of 2018 will strengthen local economies by allowing meat and poultry products inspected under State meat inspection programs to be sold across state lines. This opens access to new markets that were previously unavailable due to outdated federal regulations. Facilities operating under a State meat inspection program have to jump through the same hoops as those regulated under the federal meat inspection program. For South Dakota, this means that the 80 state-inspected establishments will be able to sell South Dakota beef across state lines to nearby Minnesota, Nebraska, Wyoming, and others. The idea that beef from approved South American countries may be sold across state lines in the United States, while state inspected products can't go from South Dakota to North Dakota illustrates the inequities of our current law."
"South Dakota livestock producers are proud of the safe, high quality meat they produce, and they should be able to market these products outside of state lines, especially when state inspection standards meet or exceed federal guidelines," said Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), an original co-sponsor of the bill.
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The news release said that the legislation is supported by the United States Cattlemen's Association, the South Dakota Farm Bureau, the Maine Farm Bureau, the South Dakota Pork Producers, the South Dakota Meat Inspection Program Director, South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard, the South Dakota Stockgrowers and the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association. F