ALL MEMBERS OF THE SENATE AGRICULTURE COMMITTEE
February 24, 2000
The Honorable Richard Lugar
Chairman, Senate Agriculture Committee
328A Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Mr. Chairman:
The organizations listed below write today in strong support of S. 1988, the Federal Meat and Poultry Inspection Requirements Act of 1999. This bill would permit interstate shipment of state-inspected meat which would benefit livestock producers by creating more competition and opportunities to market their animals.
Current law allows meat that has been inspected by a federally inspected plant to move across state lines. Most state inspected meat may only move within state boundaries, even though the law provides for a food safety level at the state plant to be at least equal to a federally inspected facility. S. 1988 creates a seamless relationship between the state and federal inspection facilities by coordinating all meat and poultry inspection standards within the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).
We are pleased that the Committee has announced a hearing on interstate shipment of state inspected meat and urge the Committee to follow the hearing with a markup of S. 1988. Permitting state-inspected meat to move interstate is extremely important to our members and will benefit many farmers and ranchers as well as consumers.
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Sheep Industry Association
National Association of State Departments of Agriculture
National Cattlemen Beef Association
National Farmers Union
c: Senate Agriculture Committee