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AMI Statement: USDA's Proposed User Fees for Meat and Poultry Inspection in Its FY 2006 Budget

Tuesday, February 8, 2005

(Attribute to J. Patrick Boyle, AMI President and CEO)

The misnomer of "user fees" for meat and poultry inspection has re-surfaced in USDA’s latest budget proposal. The meat and poultry industry remains solidly opposed to the imposition of what is in fact a "food safety tax."

Meat and poultry inspection programs are a public health function, as evidenced by federal laws mandating and funding these programs for nearly a century. By implying that these are "user fees" one would be ignoring the fact that consumers, who already fund inspection programs through federal taxes, would bear the cost, along with farmers and meat, poultry and egg processors, through higher costs and slowed production.

This additional tax proposal comes at a time when farmers, producers and processors are still feeling the impact of rising production costs and unpredictable export markets. Further, meat and poultry products would be subject to a competitive disadvantage in the marketplace, compared with other food products that would not be subject to such a tax.

We know of no consumer, farm, labor or industry organization that supports imposing a tax to pay for meat, poultry and egg products inspection. We are hopeful that history will repeat itself, and that this user fee proposal will be rejected.

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

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