WASHINGTON, DC – Federal legislation allowing interstate transport and sale of state-inspected meat and poultry products provides economic opportunity and fairness to small businesses.
“This is not a food safety issue,” North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Roger Johnson said Wednesday, at a news conference in Washington. “This is about giving small companies the same economic opportunities that larger companies and foreign companies enjoy in the U.S marketplace.”
“Cooperation, coordination and collaboration by all entities involved in food production is the only way to get there,” Johnson said. “There are no separate standards for federal or state inspections – state programs standards must meet federal regulations, and many state programs have standards higher than federal standards.”
Johnson, the president of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture, addressed paid advertisements and press releases by opponents of the proposed legislation.
“It is possible to make interstate shipment work for the benefit of state plants and provide full safety and confidence for consumers,” Johnson said. “There is significant interest in resolving this issue so that state inspected facilities can prosper.”