Entries in Meat Inspectors (2)


Would Sequester Cuts Put Meat in Danger?

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Take our naval vessels, our jet-engine programs and our Social Security checks, but do not lay hands on our meat.

If the congressionally mandated budget “sequester” happens, the meat industry says it will take a hit, and U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack acknowledged this week that his department will have to furlough food inspectors if the sequester can’t be avoided by another deficit-cutting deal.

“Unfortunately, unless Congress acts to prevent sequestration, FSIS [the Food Safety and Inspection Service] will have no choice but to furlough its employees in order stay within the budget Congress has given it,” Vilsack wrote in a letter to the American Meat Institute (AMI) on Tuesday. “Because we understand that furloughing our food safety inspectors would not be good for our consumers, the economy, the meat and poultry industry, or our workforce, we view such furloughs as the last option we would implement to achieve the necessary sequestration cut.”

The AMI had warned in its own letter to Vilsack that inspector furloughs “would have a profound, indeed devastating, effect on meat and poultry companies, their employees, and consumers, not to mention the producers who raise the cattle, hogs, lamb, and poultry processed in those facilities.”

The trade publication Farm Futures has noted that without inspectors to inspect meat and poultry, producers can’t keep making it, meaning furloughs could force some producers to close their doors.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Meat Institute Urges Lawmakers to Deem Inspectors 'Essential'

Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/ Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The American Meat Institute sent a letter to the Obama administration Thursday, urging officials to deem meat and poultry inspectors as "essential personnel," allowing them to continue working should the government shut down.

According to the institute, close to 8,000 inspectors oversee 6,200 plants across the U.S., ensuring that products are "safe, wholesome and properly labeled and that livestock are treated humanely."  Should they be classified as "non-essential," plants will have to cease operations.

Although a work stoppage seems unlikely, being that meat inspectors were deemed "essential" in past shutdowns, the institute said it has yet to receive assurance from the government.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio