Coalition Urges Action on Interstate Meat Sales Legislation

News Article -

NASDA and a coalition of fifty agricultural and other organizations sent a letter to the Senate May 1 expressing strong support for legislation that would allow state-inspected meat and poultry to be sold in the national marketplace. Two bill have been introduced in the Senate--S. 1149 by Sens. Herb Kohl (D-Wisc.), Max Baucus (D.-Mont.), and Kent Conrad (D-N.D.); and S. 1150 by Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) which take different approaches to achieve this goal. 

Current law from the 1960s prevents state-inspected meat and poultry products from being sold across state borders. The coalition letter points out that meat and poultry products from 34 foreign countries can be freely shipped and sold anywhere in the United States, but domestic processors and small businesses are denied this same market opportunity. The coalition also noted that no other state-inspected food commodities are prohibited from being shipped across state lines. A copy of the coalition letter is posted on the NASDA website. 

Interest and support for interstate meat sales legislation is getting attention in Congress. Both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees held hearings on livestock competition issues last week. Both lawmakers and witnesses at the hearings expressed support for legislation. (Contact: Charlie Ingram)

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Charlie Ingram