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AMI Joins Food and Agriculture Coalition in Opposing Proposed 'User Fees'

Monday, February 28, 2011

(American Meat Institute)

In letters sent today to the chairmen and ranking members of the House and Senate Agriculture Committee, Budget Committee and Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee, AMI joined two dozen food and agriculture trade associations in opposition to so-called “user fees” for government mandatory inspection programs for meat, poultry and egg processors.  The fees were included in the Obama Administration’s proposal for the Fiscal Year 2012 U.S. Department of Agriculture budget.

Because meat, poultry and egg inspection protects public health and safety and benefits everyone, the letter argued the inspection should be paid for through appropriated funds. 

AMI has long opposed user fees for mandated meat inspection services, arguing that the fees ultimately will be passed onto consumers in the form of higher meat, poultry and egg prices.  

“In reality, these fees represent a food safety tax on consumers and not just a fee on processors,” the groups wrote.  “The proposed tax will make the current equitable funding mechanism inherently regressive, since low and middle-income families spend a higher portion of their income on food than do wealthier Americans.  Furthermore, this proposal to transform government-funded food safety inspection provides less accountability for the government to manage program costs, results and efficiencies.”

“We urge Congress to continue to oppose proposals to assess new user fees, either in whole or in part, to fund federally mandated meat, poultry or egg product inspection,” the letter concluded. 

To view an example of a letter, as sent to the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, click here:  http://www.meatinstitute.org/ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/67054


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