From the “boring but important” category of meat-related news, the Consumer Federation of America has joined with other advocacy groups as well as union and labor groups, under the assistance of men and women in Congress, to work out a compromise in response to July’s ill-conceived attempt by Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson to do away with the federal inspections requirement for interstate meat sales. The new plan augments Peterson’s measure in a way that ensures state-inspection procedures meet or exceed federal ones.
The original measure, snuck into the farm bill this past summer for largely pork barrel reasons, reduced federal regulation of small meat companies without specifically laying out a protocol that would guarantee federal inspection levels. And yeah, we know that federal inspection levels aren’t exactly anything to be proud of, but they’re better than nothing. Thankfully, other more responsible politicians have stepped up to develop a plan that would guarantee meat from small companies will still be inspected at the same level, whether by a state or federal agency, if they want to ship across state lines.
We’re glad to see that this modified plan is being suggested that grants more independence to states while also providing a baseline of regulatory guidelines—it would be nice if the Consumerist didn’t have to spend all of 2008 reporting state-by-state E. coli outbreaks.
“CFA, Consumer Groups Join Labor, Farm Groups and State Departments of Agriculture to Assure All Meat and Poultry Shipped Across State Lines Will Remain Subject to Federal Meat and Poultry Inspection Laws, Regulations and Policies” [Consumer Federation of America] (pdf file)