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Taxing Food for Inspection A Bad Idea for U.S. Consumers and Exports, Says AMI

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

“A proposal that will force consumers to pay a food safety tax – euphemistically called a user fee in the 2008 budget proposal – will undermine the public’s confidence in the government’s commitment to food safety,” said Mark Dopp, American Meat Institute senior vice president of regulatory affairs and general counsel. Dopp noted that the proposed food safety tax will foist added costs on meat and poultry producers and their products while they are already seeing pressure from rising feed prices. “And unfortunately, a tax on necessary food items hurts the working poor and disadvantaged the most,” he added.

The White House and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) budget for FY 2008 contains new user fees totaling $96 million. Dopp pointed out that federal meat and poultry inspection is a key public health and safety program required by federal law and funded through tax dollars already being collected from consumers. “Forcing consumers to shoulder a duplicate tax to pay for federally mandated inspections is not only double dipping in consumers’ pockets, but raises clear questions, domestically and abroad, about the independence of food inspections in the United States,” he said.

“User fees for meat inspection are a really bad idea, both domestically, and for our export markets,” he added.

For more information contact:
David Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs
Janet Riley
Sr. Vice President, Public Affairs

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