The American Meat Institute (AMI) today said it opposed $573 million in meat and poultry inspection “user fees” requested in USDA’s proposed Fiscal Year 1999 budget.
“The $573 million
budget request for user fees is the largest
ever,” said AMI President J. Patrick Boyle,
“And I can say with certainty it will be the
most vigorously opposed.”
Boyle noted that user fees for meat and poultry
inspection are strongly opposed by industry,
producer, consumer and labor groups alike. To
date, every attempt to obtain Congressional
approval for such an initiative has failed.
Last year, USDA failed to secure authority to
collect $390 million in user fees.
According to Boyle, meat and poultry
inspection is a public health and safety
program required by federal law. The public,
not the meat company, is the designated
beneficiary of federal inspection programs.
He said that if industry were
to pay user fees, there would be no incentive
for the federal government to control
inspection costs because the companies would
have to pay any additional cost incurred by the
program. He also said that such a levy would
put meat and poultry at a competitive
disadvantage compared to other food products.
Calling user fees a “food
tax,” he said that the costs of user fees
ultimately may be passed onto the consumer, who
already fund meat and poultry inspection
programs through their annual federal taxes.
“In effect, consumers are being asked to pay
twice in 1999 for the same level of food safety
protection they are receiving in 1998,” Boyle
AMI represents the
interests of packers and processors of beef,
pork, lamb, veal and turkey products and their
suppliers throughout North America.
Headquartered in Washington, DC, the Institute
provides legislative, regulatory and public
relations services, conducts scientific and
economic research, offers marketing and
technical assistance and sponsors education
AMI Opposes Proposed User Fees for Meat and Poultry Inspection in FY 1999 BudgetMonday, February 2, 1998
For more information contact:
Vice President, Public Affairs
Manager, Public Affairs