Government Policy

What Are Impacts To Ag From Fiscal Responsibility and Reform?

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There are 58 cost reduction points offered by the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. The recommendations touch all areas of government with words like trim, cut, reduce, merge, eliminate, etc. Several recommendations would impact agriculture.

Of note is recommendation 33, "Require food processing facilities to finance food safety and inspection services."

Under current law, one inspector must be present at all times to sample and test products when a meat or poultry slaughtering plant is in operation. These inspectors are responsible for monitoring the processing plants daily adherence to sanitary, ingredient, and packaging regulations.

Federal inspections benefit producers and consumers alike by preventing diseased animals and other unsafe products from being sold, but producers get the extra benefit of being able to advertise that their products passed USDA inspection.

This option finances all federal inspections of meat and poultry products with fees paid by the processing facilities, thereby making the service paid for by those who use it. Implementation of this policy increases federal revenues by over $900 million each year.

Note these are recommendations that require new legislation and / or action by both the president and congress to make happen.

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