The American Sheep Industry Association joined more than 20 industry associations in urging the "Gang of Six" to reject the administration's request for user fees as they work to formulate a plan to reduce the federal deficit.
The Gang of Six is a bipartisan group of senators working to formulate a deficit reduction plan based on the work of the President's National Commission On Fiscal Responsibility And Reform. It includes Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-ND), Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mark Warner (D-VA), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Tom Coburn (R-OK).
The Commission Co-Chair's Proposal released in November 2010 proposed levying a fee on meat-, poultry- and egg-product producers to offset the cost of mandated federal safety inspection. However, this proposal was dropped from the commission's final report released in December 2010.
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 be paid for through appropriated funds," said the associations in a letter sent to the senators.
Reprinted in part from the American Meat Institute