03/22/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 03/22/2023 18:47
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) joined Senators Mike Rounds (R-SD) and Angus King (I-ME) in introducing the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act of 2023, which would allow producers to sell their state-inspected meat and poultry products across state lines.
"The meat processing sector is one of the most consolidated industries in the United States today," said Senator Cramer. "By permitting the sale of state-inspected meats across state lines, our legislation would expand market opportunities for North Dakota ranchers, better position smaller processors to compete against larger competition, and give consumers more choice at the grocery store."
State Meat and Poultry Inspection (MPI) standards must be at least equal to federal safety standards, soit makes sense to authorize the sale of state-certified products across state lines. This bill neither affects the Cooperative Interstate Shipment (CIS) program, nor explicitly enables the export of the products at issue.
The New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act of 2023 has also received support from North Dakota stakeholders.
"NDFB has policy that supports the research and development of feeding livestock and expanding animal agriculture in North Dakota. With the growth in popularity and demand for direct-to-consumer sales of meat, this legislation is a good fit. Allowing for more market availability and opportunities in animal agriculture is a move in the right direction for all farmers and ranchers in North Dakota," said Daryl Lies, President, North Dakota Farm Bureau (NDFB).
"We are grateful for the introduction of the New Markets for State-Inspected Meat and Poultry Act. This legislation will help expand and diversify the marketplace for state-inspected processing facilities and create new opportunities for our nation's cattle producers," said Julie Ellingson, Executive Vice President, North Dakota Stockmen's Association (NDSA).
Joining Senators Cramer, Rounds, and King are Senators Steve Daines (R-MT), John Barrasso (R-WY), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Jon Tester (D-MT), Tina Smith (D-MN), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), John Thune (R-SD), and John Hoeven (R-ND).
Click here for bill text.
Senator Cramer and his colleagues have led this legislation the last two Congresses. In 2020, following meatpacking plant shutdowns and supply chain shortages for meat products, the group wrote an op-ed advocating for the bill's passage with COVID-19 relief packages.