A Bunch Of Groups Compromise On State Meat Inspections

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)

“Bill would reduce meat inspections” [Chicago Tribune]
(Photo: Getty)


Edit Your Comment

  1. Shred says:

    bah, who cares. stop eating meat. it’s cruel (murder, actually) and destroying our planet ala global warming.

  2. Charles Duffy says:

    @Shred: I like my murder, thank you very much. What’s the point of living in Texas if one doesn’t eat the beef?

    (or, to put it a bit differently — not-everyone-shares-your-worldview-kthxbye)

  3. WraithSama says:

    I’m not getting your connection between eating meat and global warming. Especially since you don’t qualify the assertion with any kind of evidence. It’s like saying “Don’t test products on animals, it causes famine in undeveloped countries”.

    Every living thing requires food. Plants, animals, everything. The only thing that differs is what kind of food each eats, which is determined entirely by what the creature’s digestive system (or chloroplasts, for photosynthetic autotrophs) is designed to break down and convert to nutrients. Do you think animals that don’t eat meat do so out of some kind of empathy or belief that eating meat is murder? No, only because their digestive systems were designed to process plant matter, not meat. Humans are subject to this as well. If human beings were lithovores, we’d be eating rocks instead of plants and animals. But we’re not, we’re omnivores, and our bodies require nutrients, such as protein, that come from consuming meat.

    Finally, just as you’re offended by my eating meat, I’m equally offended by your calling me a murderer.

  4. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Shred: Your fellow vegan (who lives in Texas) says, can it already. You’re making us look like idiots, and those of us who are not idiots are not impressed with your clueless, desperate fanaticism.

  5. SkyeBlue says:

    I really try and keep an open mind but I’ve began to wonder if the whole “eating meat will kill you and desimate the planet” message is not ALL being pushed by those with a political and not a health agenda.

  6. kimsama says:

    @speedwell: It’s cool, he’s just a summer vegan. He’ll cool down eventually.

  7. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @SkyeBlue: Keeping an open mind is like keeping an open mouth. You have to close it occasionally to chew and swallow and to keep the flies from getting in. Heh.

    As far as the political agenda, I think you are indeed correct. My fellow vegans are, by and large, spending outrageous amounts of time, energy, and money monitoring what they stuff down their pie-holes. They are also passionately devoted to monitoring what you and I choose to shove down ours. I think they need to back off before someone becomes a little too interested in finding something else to shove somewhere else (here in Texas, we refer to a cowboy boot and a less polite part of the anatomy).

  8. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @kimsama: Heh. I don’t mean to sound so rancorous. I’m just sick and tired of having people nod and smile vapidly at me like they have me pegged, when all I tell them is I prefer not to eat animal-based food…

  9. calpchen says:

    Chris Walters, don’t you mean “ensure” not “insure” in the last sentence of the first paragraph?

  10. jeff303 says:

    @Shred: No, it’s a natural process (murder is actually a legal term that is only defined for human subjects). Of course you may still think it’s unethical but that’s a different matter entirely and one I’m not interested in debating here.

    And only factory farming (admittedly the majority of what goes on now) can be called environmentally unfriendly. Believe it or not, it is possible to raise animals in a humane, efficient, yet sustainable way and some people are doing it right now (check out The Omnivore’s Dilemma from your local library).

  11. @calpchen: Yes, and thanks for catching that. I swear I know the difference, but then again the other day I typed “effect” for “affect,” so clearly something is wrong. (With my head.)

  12. kimsama says:

    @speedwell: You didn’t sound rancorous at all ^_^. I also get tired of people trying to judge others by what they eat. Then I read the Something Awful article and now I get a good laugh out of it.

  13. jeff303 says:
  14. kimsama says:

    @Chris Walters: Maybe you’re secretly clever.

  15. kimsama says:

    @jeff303: haha, beat me!

  16. howie_in_az says:

    @WraithSama: “But we’re not, we’re omnivores, and our bodies require nutrients, such as protein, that come from consuming meat.”

    [www.soystache.com] would like to have a word with you :)

  17. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @howie_in_az: I would rather starve than eat tofu. Bleech!

    I will take my animal carcass well done thanks.

  18. magus_melchior says:

    @Nemesis_Enforcer: Well, there’s also beans and nuts for starters.

    @howie_in_az: I’m pretty sure that the medical pros that site cites will say that it’s not the consumption of animal protein that’s bad, it’s just that we often eat way too much of it.

  19. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    @Nemesis_Enforcer: I’d rather eat tofu than starve, so we can agree to disagree. ;)

    @magus_melchior: For me it’s not that animals aren’t tasty, because they are, or that animal protein is bad, because it isn’t. But my mom died of breast cancer several years ago, and my youngest brother almost died after a particularly bad bout with e.coli while recovering from recent surgery, and my fiance and I started thinking hard thoughts about our lazy “fry a cheap steak from the clearance shelf and forget to make side dishes” cooking style. For us, mostly it’s a food and lifestyle quality thing.

  20. lyndyn29 says:

    Hey, guys, your inline link is confusing and indirect (links to the main CFA press release page, and you have to dig a little to find the correct articles). It would be better to direct it to the same document as the citation link, or here.

    FWIW, I’ve been planning to switch over to locally produced meat for a while, and this just clinched it for me. I know about my state’s inspection practices, and I know the production quality of my local ranchers and butchers. Most of our supermarket meat comes from one or two states away; even if I felt knowledgeable about their quality control, which I don’t, it just seems stupid to me when my kids see cows on their way to school every morning.

  21. pestie says:

    @Shred: Hippie! Anyway, genetically-modified soy is shaping up to be more dangerous for human health, and the health of the planet, than organic meat.