May 4, 2007
May 4, 2007 - The American Sheep Industry Association joined 49 other agricultural organizations in requesting U.S. Senate support for legislation that would allow state-inspected meat and poultry to be sold in the national marketplace.
Two bills have been introduced in the Senate-S. 1149 by Sens. Herb Kohl (Wisc.), Max Baucus (Mont.) and Kent Conrad (N.D.); and S. 1150 by Sens. Orrin Hatch (Utah) and Mike Enzi (Wyo.).
"Both bills will resolve a basic inequity that has existed since 1967 and allow interstate sales of state-inspected meat and poultry," stressed the Coalition for Fair Agriculture and Rural Markets (FARM).
Lamb, goat, beef, poultry and pork that are inspected at the state level are currently restricted from being shipped interstate while these same products from foreign countries can be freely shipped and sold anywhere in the United States. Also unrestricted are other state-inspected food products (milk, dairy products, fruit, vegetables, fish and shellfish) and non-amenable products (venison, bison, pheasant, quail and rabbit).
Twenty-eight states currently have their own meat and poultry inspection programs. They serve more than 2,000 state-inspected meat processors-mostly small, family-owned businesses-who are prevented from competing in the national marketplace.
American processors and businesses are simply asking for a fair and reasonable chance to market their products here at home.
"We ask you to support and cosponsor S. 1149 and S. 1150 and level the economic playing field for rural America," concluded FARM.