Senate Bill Would Stop Meat Inspection Furloughs

Both Washington news services Politico and The Hill have said a Continuing Resolution (C.R.) spending bill passed by the Senate Wednesday has a provision that would allow USDA to avoid furloughing meat inspectors.  The C.R. would fund the government until Sept. 30.

The Hill said the bill is expected to pass the House on Thursday, as the Senate version includes the same spending levels as an earlier House-passed version. The C.R. would leave the sequestration spending cuts in place. The Senate will now move on to trying to hammer out their first budget in four years.

We have been concerned about the furlough inspections, as Ag Secretary Vilsack had claimed that the meat inspection budget was so tight that furloughs were the only option. Given that many of such threats from other cabinet officials have proven inaccurate, exaggerated or manufactured, it was hard to know how to evaluate Vilsack’s claims. But the fact that the Senate has addressed the question of meat inspection directly gives credence to Vilsack’s claim.

One way or another, we hope it does get properly resolved. The industry knows that meat plants cannot operate without inspectors on duty, period. We’re not sure most consumers know that. The industry certainly does not need consumers ignorant of the facts being worried that they would have non-inspected meat showing up in their meat case or on their restaurant’s table.

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Published in: on March 20, 2013 at 3:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

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