Billings, Mont. – Today, Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) introduced the Expanding Markets for State-Inspected Meat Processors Act of 2020 (H.R. 7162). House co-sponsors include Rep. David McKinley (R-WV) and Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV). The act would amend the Federal Meat Inspection Act by expressly allowing meatpacking plants inspected by state jurisdictions to sell meat in interstate commerce. The act is similar to a bipartisan Senate version filed earlier by Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD), Angus King (I-ME), John Thune (R-SD), Michael Enzi (R-WY), Joe Manchin (D-WV) and John Barrasso (R-WY). However, Cheney’s act differs by not including poultry as is included in the Senate version.
According to R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard, state inspected meatpackers have long been discriminated against by the Federal Meat Inspection Act, which he said allows imported meat products produced in foreign plants that only receive periodic inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to nevertheless be shipped to every state in the Union once it enters the United States. But, he said state-inspected meat plants that are regularly inspected by their respective state food inspectors are denied access to all markets outside their state.
“This has effectively prevented robust competition in the U.S. meatpacking industry as market access for state-inspected meat plants is severely constrained, which stymies both new entrants and expansion of existing plants.
“More packing plants competing with existing packing plants for both their cattle inputs and beef sales means more industry-wide competition, and that is exactly what America’s cattlemen need right now”
We greatly appreciate Rep. Cheney’s leadership in the House to help our industry rebuild its lost competition,” Bullard concluded.
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R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only lobbying and trade association representing U.S. cattle producers. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. Visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516 for more information.