The American Sheep Industry Association (ASI) joined two dozen other food and agriculture organizations urging members of both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate to reject the request to assess user fees for federally mandated meat, poultry and egg inspection programs, which was included in the 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture budget proposal to Congress.
The food safety-tax proposal would put meat, poultry and egg products at a competitive disadvantage in the domestic and international marketplace, compared with other food and imported products not subject to this tax.
Meat, poultry and egg product inspection is a public health and safety program required by federal law and has been funded through tax dollars for over a century. Food safety inspection benefits everyone and, therefore, should continue to be paid for through appropriated funds. Furthermore, this proposal to transform government-funded food safety inspection provides less accountability for the government to manage program costs, results and efficiencies.
"Past attempts to impose user fees have been unsuccessful, and ASI joins the other associations in asking Congress to once again oppose this assessment," stated ASI Legislative Council co-chair, Bob Benson, producer leader from Indiana.
Staff contact: Peter Orwick, ext. 33